Award-winning theatre company stage production of Henry V at Norwich Cathedral
- Credit: Scott Rylander 2016
British and French actors pay tribute to First World War soldiers in reimagining set in a French military hospital.
In 2015, award-winning theatre company Antic Disposition celebrated the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt, the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare and the 100th Anniversary Battle of Loos in Northern France with a production of Henry V.
Two years later and they are back with a cathedral tour of the Bard's celebrated history play that brings them to Norwich Cathedral this weekend.
Marking the ongoing centenary of the First World War, Antic Disposition's reimagining is set in a French military hospital in 1915 – 500 years after the Battle of Agincourt where two groups of wounded soldiers, one French and one British, decide to raise their spirits by staging a production of Henry V.
Moving effortlessly between 1415 and 1915, Antic Disposition's Henry V combines Shakespeare's epic history play with original songs and live music inspired by the poetry of A E Housman, in a powerful tribute to the young soldiers caught up in conflicts five centuries apart.
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It is being performed by British and French actors and is a tribute to young soldiers caught up in conflicts five centuries apart as well as a celebration of the rich and often turbulent relationship between the two nations, from the 100 Years War to the Entente Cordiale.
Antic Disposition was founded in 2005 by director Ben Horslen and director/designer John Risebero. The award-winning company presents innovative and entertaining interpretations of classic plays and stories, with a particular emphasis on the works of Shakespeare.
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The company has earned a strong reputation and much critical acclaim for its high quality, visually striking productions presented in historic buildings and unusual non-theatre spaces.
Recent productions include The Comedy of Errors in London's Gray's Inn Hall, location of the play's first recorded performance in 1594; Romeo and Juliet in the 12th-century Temple Church; and A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest in the spectacular Elizabethan setting of Middle Temple Hall.
They have already presented their moving adaptation of Henry V in France, along with two London runs, and a very special performance in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, burial place of William Shakespeare.
This latest tour has already seen them stage the play in Southwark Cathedral in London, Ripon, Lincoln, Peterborough and Ely catherdals, as well as Beverley and Southwell Minsters.
Directors Ben Horslen and John Risebero said: 'Henry V is a project close to our hearts. In this First World War centenary year, we're delighted to be sharing the production, and the company's work, with new audiences, and honoured to be performing in some of the most remarkable medieval buildings in the country.'
• Henry V, Norwich Cathedral, February 18, 7.30pm, £35-£25, £15 under-18s, 0333 6663366, www.cathedral.org.uk