i'm gonna try to put theater thoughts on here so I don't lose them by my lack of a consistent tagging system over on tumblr. This is what I posted abt the RSC's Henry IV parts 1&2, in residency at BAM:
so this weekend I saw some Henry IVs
(I saw the RSC Henry IVs at BAM)
Here are some unstructured thoughts:
- Both plays were highly competent. Not world-shattering or particularly charismatic productions but Very competent, and u kno those RSC production values, always a joy.
- Hassell’s Prince Hal was underwhelming to me– he didn’t seem smart enough for Machiavellian Hal but he also wasn’t charming enough for nice Hal… he seemed reserved and thoughtful which I guess is a fair reading but not a super fun one to watch.
- Hotspur also underwhelmed me??? He was somehow ANGRY and LOW ENERGY at the same time and he had a seriously gross little pony-tail.
- Falstaff, yeah whatever.
- A particularly touchy-feely homoerotic Poins who, hilariously, is played by the same actor who’s taken on Aumerle in Richard II, so like. An all around slut for Plantagenets I guess.
- A neat thing is that when Henry IV dies, a dude with a huge deep voice comes out and sings in a big resonant bass the “jerusalem” cadence that the trio in Richard II sings.
- A less neat thing is the lack of cohesive design decisions over the multiple plays. Like the Rumor prologue of part 2 was done by a guy in a modern t shirt which, aside from being the exact same ooooh clever is the show started or isnt it? conceit that I saw used at the RSC in their Jew of Malta this summer, just… should not have happened in this production, in this play cycle. Metatheatrical or modern elements aren’t used in anywhere else in the show OR in any of the others???? It was super jarring. It’s like how when you’re painting, if you use a color in one place you gotta use it in another.
- Also the costumes were confusing. Hal’s jacket looked like it was from H&M sorry bout it.
- Oliver Ford Davies is a mensch.
- THIS MAKES IT SOUND LIKE I DIDN’T LIKE THEM I DID LIKE THEM I HAD FUN (i’ve just…… seen better)
Basically I saw the Donmar Warehouse's Henry IV when it was at the St Ann's Warehouse and basically BASICALLY if you're existing in a world that has had that in it you gotta step it the fuuuuck uuuuuuuup in re: henrys