Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Henry V Pulped"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

Reviews of Current Productions

note: entire contents copyright 1999 by Larry Stark


"Henry V Pulped"

by Mark Jephcott
Directed by Joseph Zamparelli, Jr.

Set Design by Joseph Stephenson
Slides by Mark Jephcott & Joe Zamparelli, Jr.
Lighting Design by Amy Lee
Sound Design by Joseph Zamparelli, Jr.
Production Stage Manager Rebecca McBee

Henry V.....................................................Cliff Odle
Catherine.............................Nicole Jesson/Lis Adams
Mr. Exeter................................................Tom Berry
Mr. Gloucester/Constable.....................Mark Cafazzo
Mr. Salisbury/Ambassador to the Dauphin/Lord Scroop/The Dauphin...Michael Hobin
Mr. Warwick/Mad Frenchman/Interpreter/Orleans/Pierre d'Agincourt.......Paul Farwell
Mr Bedford/Sir Thomas grey/Governor of Harfleur/Duke of Burgundy/Mr. Fox...Jim Muzzi
Mr. Talbot/Archbishop of Canterbury/Lord Cambridge/Charles IV of France/Mountjoy........Rick Park


The only word that describes the new Delvena production crammed into the cramped Leland Center space at the BCA is "Indescribable!"
If Wilm Shaxpy were alive today, Mark Jephcott reasons, he'd be throwing out that old iambic pentameter scam for the terse, tense confrontational style of Quentin Tarrantino. The action jumps times and styles as fast as actors can switch costumes. Jephcott turns all the English courtiers into Men In Black complete with white shirts, black suits, black ties, black shades, black pistols, and attitudes. The show is part send-up, part critique, part sketch --- all adding up to 75 minutes of laugh riot.

Set designer Joseph Stephenson has everyone enclosed in what look like either the dank walls of a dungeon on the Tower or ramparts carved from candlewax --- and added a big-screen t-v in which flash titles and credits, paintings and maps to remind everyone of movies. Director Joseph Zamparelli Jr. has thrown his cast in and out of quick costumes to remind everyone of theater. And the actors have invented dozens of zany characters that will remind everyone of Monty Python and The Goon Show.

The cast play one scene twice, break character to complain about character names, affect ridiculous French accents, draw-down on one another over words, and caustically re-examine the hidden motives of their supposedly saintly King Henry. Oh, and playing Harry (the fifth of that name) is Cliff Odle --- big and Black and more or less doing Shakespeare's lines straight while chaos whirls around him.

Saturday night the playwright flew in to see the performance --- and spent it instead in a holding-pattern somewhere north of Newark. The MBTA may not be as fast as the air-shuttle but they are usually more reliable. Still, the theatre seats only thirty-six and sells out fast, so leave home real early, just in case.
You don't want to miss the prologue, do you?

Love,
===Anon.


"Henry V Pulped" (till 31 October)
THE DELVENA THEATRE COMPANY
Leland Center, Boston Center for The Arts, 539 Tremont Street, BOSTON
1(617)426-O320

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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