E-mail this story
National pride, unexpectedly, in 'Henry V' at Stratford Shakespeare Festival
STRATFORD, ONTARIO — Of all of William Shakespeare's plays, "Henry V" is the drama most often interpreted as patriotically British. In the 1944 film version, Laurence Olivier used the young king's inspiring St. Crispin's Day speech, with its soaring rhetoric hailing "we few, we happy few, we band of brothers," to inspire his countrymen to fight not against the French forces in the play but against their real-life Nazi foes. But, in this of all summers, when the Union Jack is flying across London hailing the remarkable achievements of British athletes, and when film director Danny Boyle unveiled a new and inclusive celebration of English history as the stunning opener to the Olympic Games, you just don't expect the gigantic flag that the audacious Des McAnuff unfurls at the end of "Henry V," his last Shakespeare production as artistic director of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.
August 6, 2012