February 10, 2007, by Peter Kirwan
Henry VI Part 1 (RSC) @ The Courtyard Theatre
Last night’s trip was a jolly really- a third viewing of the first part of Michael Boyd’s ‘Henry VI’ trilogy, just for fun! I’d really wanted to see all three ‘Henries’ and ‘Richard III’ in sequence, but timing hasn’t allowed, and I’m sure I’ll get the chance in 2008 when the company play eight history plays in sync!
Yet again, it was wonderful, and the company seemed to be enjoying themselves, which I suppose is an imperative when you’re required to perform three different plays the following day! It was lovely to see the Courtyard relatively full as well, which hasn’t happened very often so far.
It’s all coming to a big climax now, with the end of the Festival in just over a month. ‘Richard III: An Arab Tragedy’ and the London production of ‘Antony & Cleopatra’ await this week, then the week after sees the Polish work-in-progress production of ‘Macbeth’ and the big Sonnet project, ‘Nothing Like The Sun’. The last play in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, ‘Coriolanus’, finishes off February, followed three days later in the Swan by Cheek By Jowl’s excellent Russian ‘Twelfth Night’. We then drop to one play a week, seeing ‘As You Like It’, ‘Venus and Adonis’ and a repeat viewing of ‘The Tempest’ in quick succession. Then I pop off to Edinburgh for a few days, and return for a final pair of big-hitters, ‘The Merchant Of Venice’ and ‘King Lear’, which I’m seeing on the 30th of March.
I haven’t actually thought about what I’m going to do with this blog when the Festival finishes. I enjoy writing it, and I have plans to start going to productions further afield (which I can’t really justify at the moment thanks to the amount I’m spending at the RSC!), so it may turn into a more general theatre-going blog. Anyway, that’s something to think about nearer the time!