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Shakespeare Double Bill at The Rose Playhouse

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

IN JULY 2014, Groundlings Theatre Company is presenting William Shakespeare’s Henry V and The Comedy of Errors on alternate nights at The Rose Playhouse, Bankside.

Henry V, directed by Helen Oakleigh, will be performed on July 15, 17, 19, 22, 24 and 26.

Cry God for Harry, England and The Rose!

These were the words recorded by Sir Lawrence Olivier in his last public speech made in 1989 on behalf of The Rose shortly before he died. He made this impassioned call to arms during the campaign to ‘Save The Rose’ from the bulldozers as a new office block (Rose Court) was built.

Now, in this unique production of Henry V, Shakespeare’s tale of heroism and valour will see all characters played by just one actor – Richard Stride – alongside two musicians.

Can the King of England hold his nerve to embrace his duty, command his men and lead his country to victory in France? Shakespeare’s great play of nationhood investigates the bloody horrors of war and the turbulence of a land in crisis.

The Comedy of Errors, directed by Richard Stride, will be performed on July 16, 18, 20, 23, 25 and 27.

We came into the world like brother and brother,
And now let’s go hand in hand, not one before another.

This production will be a gender blind casting, giving actors the opportunity to play roles that in the past were unavailable to them. This also offers the audience a different way of looking at one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies. With its slapstick action and farcical plot, the fast paced comedy drives the plays narrative, leaving the audience to laugh out loud at the antics of its characters.

Director and actor Richard Stride is no stranger to Shakespeare, having performed many diverse characters from the bard’s plays, including Hamlet, Banquo and Bottom.

Tickets: Full £12, concessions £10 (Friends of The Rose, OAP, Student, Equity), £9 Southwark Residents. To book, call the box office 020 7261 9565 or visit www.rosetheatre.org.uk/.

Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm, Sundays at 3pm.

The Rose Playhouse, Bankside, 56 Park Street, London, SE1 9AR