Friday, 19 August 2011

Henry IV Part II

The 2010 Globe Theatre production of one of my favourite Shakespeare plays came to our local Cineworld last night. It was a long evening, as we had a false start - they put the wrong tape in, so we began with the first scene of Henry IV Part I ("So shaken as we are, so wan with care..." - rather a bonus). The production by Dominic Dromgoole was noisy, vivacious and only momentarily moving ("If I had a thousand sons..."): there was no foretaste of Chekhov as in Peter Hall's so-memorable RSC version in the early '60s, with Hugh Griffith and Roy Dotrice as Falstaff and Shallow. But the Globe gave us the marvellous, rumbustuous Roger Allam as the not-too-fat knight and a totally brilliant William Gaunt as Shallow. These apart, though, and save when it went down Gloucestershire way, the acting was one-dimmensional.

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