Henry V | Reviews

Henry V Poster

Henry V

22 May – 30 June 2012 | 35 Marylebone High Street
12 – 15 July 2012 | Latitude Festival


“This production is studded with jaw-dropping moments. Not only is the language delivered in a deeply affecting way, but the soundscape’s eloquence speaks volumes as soldiers race into battle, and the hospital boys nervously awaiting the return of bloodied men.

Above all, Desmeules’ portrayal of the King is ardently profound, and it is his passion and purpose that gives the production its humanity. Wholly visceral, this is an epic stunner of a spectacle that rebukes and restores, depresses and cheers, battles and, indeed, triumphs.”

***** What’s On Stage (Miranda Fay Thomas)

“Let’s not beat about the bush, this is one of the best productions of Henry V that I have ever seen.
***** What’s On The Fringe (Karandash)

“…strong performances – especially from Philip Desmeules as Henry V who manages to relay the nuances of this valiant, courageous and controversial character splendidly.”
**** The Daily Telegraph (Daisy Bowie-Sell)

“Henry V is precisely what immersive theatre should be: painfully visceral, palpably arresting and undeniably touching.”
**** The Huffington Post (Charlotte Skeoch)

In Philip Desmueles’ committedly valiant King, who shines within an accomplished ensemble, we see a compelling portrait of victory. But perhaps the strongest message to be conveyed about war is its inescapability, as reflected in the very form of this immersive experience.
**** Fourth Wall Magazine (Catherine Love)

Henry V is a magnificent achievement from the hugely imaginative talent behind Theatre Delicatessen. It’s theatre and Shakespeare as you’ve never experienced it before.
**** Entertainment Focus (Greg Jameson)

Luckily for everyone, the King wins, thanks to a magnificently commanding performance from Philip Desmeules. Resolute of purpose and standing a head above his men, he’s undeniably regal but winningly human, with flashes of the hot-headedness that got him into such bother in the Eastcheap taverns.
*** The Evening Standard (Fiona Mountford)

“Pop-up royalty Theatre Delicatessen have come up in the world”
*** Time Out (Andrzej Lukowski)

“…as an immersive production it really works. This is a martial world of tea urns and waiting, boredom and fear interspersed with the sudden sound and fury of war, the frightened whizz and bang of mortar shells and snapping of artillery. Smith also handles the quieter moments well, particularly on the eve of battle where the crackle is the gentle pitter of raindrops and the beautiful stillness offers much-needed reflection.
The Stage (Ben Dowell)

“… in the anguished looks of two military medical staff waiting in the bunker as conflict rages noisily above them, there’s a flash of genuinely powerful theatre”
*** The Public Review (Ian Foster)

” In a rather brilliant stroke, Smith has the medics stay in the bunker with us, meaning that as the bombs grow louder and gunfire is all around, we are left with two young medics, restlessly waiting for the first casualties to appear. This is startlingly effective and highly moving”
A Younger Theatre (Eleanor Turney)

“I am sitting on a stool, caught for a moment in a spotlight. There is a leg pressed up against mine that is quivering. The table I was sitting at has been slickly slid into the light for use as a casualty station where the injuries of the wounded straight from the battlefield can be inspected. The man next to me is a French prisoner. He is trying hard to get a grip on the pain as an English army doctor removes pieces of shrapnel from his brain. I can hear the clink of metal as each is dropped drop into a metal kidney bowl held by my ear. This is the Battle of Agincourt as director Roland Smith sees it.”
British Theatre Guide (Howard Loxton)

“Overall, this is a great production and one I can recommend seeing. It shows both the patriotism and the destruction of war. One highlight was the scene of two terrified army medics (Chris Polick and Zimmy Ryan) waiting at attention in front of a white-clothed operating table as the battle began above. Smith timed this beautifully to create silence in the bunker as we listened to the cacophony of gunfire outside and waited for the wounded to begin pouring in. Even with Shakespeare’s classic text, this moment spoke volumes without a word.”
**** One Stop Arts (Tom Oakley)