2016-07-29 / Ticket

A Young King Goes to War in TAM’s ‘Henry V’

Special to Ticket

THE CAST OF “HENRY V” performs as part of Theater at Monmouth’s 2016 season. “Henry V” runs through Aug. 20. 
CONTRIBUTED IMAGE THE CAST OF “HENRY V” performs as part of Theater at Monmouth’s 2016 season. “Henry V” runs through Aug. 20. CONTRIBUTED IMAGE MONMOUTH

Theater at Monmouth’s production of “Henry V” delivers audience members one of playwright William Shakespeare’s historical stories in epic fashion. The narrative focuses on King Henry V of England (Jake Loewenthal) who, believing he deserves the throne, decides to invade France. Henry V’s leadership ability and moral character are put to the test as he takes his country into war and must do everything possible to come out victorious.

The production team, led by director Mark Mineart, does excellent work with each design element on the stage. Set design from Brittany Vasta features a multi-entranced onstage curtain that not only helps create a Shakespearean atmosphere, but also helps keep the pace of the production.

Lighting design from Jason Fok helps provide mood to scenes with various colors, but also helps bring to life different locations such as a fire lit campsite. The staging works flawlessly with Leighton Samuels’ chaotic fight direction to create an intense and creative battle sequence between England and France.

Also of note is costume design by Kathleen Payton Brown, who’s detailed design work with the 15th century clothing and armor help create an immersive environment and believable characters.

An impressive display of acting is showcased from the full “Henry V” cast throughout the production, some even making quick costume changes to portray multiple characters.

Loewenthal displays a depth of emotional range as the titular character Henry V, portraying a confident leader who can deliver inspiring speeches, but also one who understands the full impact his decisions have as king. Janis Stevens sets the scene and creates visual imagery for audience members while playing The Chorus, who acts as the narrator of the story. James Hoban creates distinctive characters to great effect, going from playing English commoner Nym to the dignified

French King. The same can be said of Mark Cartier, who also does a fantastic job distinguishing his many characters — from the scheming Archbishop of Canterbury to English commoner Bardolph. Kelsey Burke displays outstanding comedic timing while playing the French Princess Katharine, particularly when working with Stevens who plays her maid, Alice. Christopher Holt is priceless as the enthusiastic army captain Fluellen, and Michael Dolan possess a fun youthful spirit as the comical Boy.

With a fantastic production team led by director Mineart, as well as an impressive display of acting from its 16 member cast, Theater at Monmouth’s “Henry V” is a show that should not be missed.

“Henry V” runs through Aug. 20. For more information on this production and others, including show times and ticket purchasing, visit theateratmonmouth.org.

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