Theatre UNB is set to close its 2022-23 season with a production of William Shakespeare’s action-packed epic, Henry V.
Next week, Theatre UNB will take audiences back to the time of the Hundred Years’ War with a production of Shakespeare’s action-packed epic, Henry V. The fourth in a series of Shakespeare’s history plays, Henry V depicts the events of 1415-20 and finds contemporary relevance as conflict between nations once again threaten peace in Europe.
UNB’s production will feature 23 intermediate and senior students and will be directed by Len Falkenstein, who, in addition to his role as Director of Drama at UNB, also manages (and often directs) Fredericton’s annual outdoor Shakespeare series, Bard in the Barracks.
“I have typically saved my Shakespeare for Bard in the Barracks lately,” said Falkenstein. “It’s been 17 years since I’ve done one in a theatre. But I have a particularly large class this year, some of them senior students who have done a lot of contemporary plays, and I needed a play with a large cast and also wanted to give them something from the classical canon for a change.”
Falkenstein says the ongoing war in the Ukraine was also a factor in choosing this script to close out the season.
“One of the things you realize when you watch Henry V, which is about a conflict that took place in the 1400’s, is that war really hasn’t changed much in that time, and there are many, many parallels between Shakespeare’s story and what is going on in Ukraine. A land grab based on questionably founded nationalistic ambitions? Check. Rampant war crimes? Check. The prolonged siege of cities? Check. An inspirational leader and great communicator who rallies his underdog forces against a larger and better equipped foe? Check. So it’s been a great learning opportunity for the students and will give our audiences, I think, some food for thought as we ponder how Shakespeare seemingly set out to glorify the military conquests of King Henry, but couldn’t help but depict and horror and futility of war at the same time.”
Henry V runs April 6-7 at Memorial Hall on the UNB campus.
April 5 | Memorial Hall | 7:30 p.m.
April 6 | Memorial Hall | 7:30 p.m.
April 7 | Memorial Hall | 7:30 p.m.
Tickets ($15 regular, $12 senior/underemployed, and $10 for students) will be available at the door. For more information, phone 506 447-3078, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit Facebook.com/TheatreUNB.