Pacific Resident Theatre
Reviewed by Carol Kaufman Segal

The production of William Shakespeare’s Henry V, playing at the Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice, was adapted by Guillermo Cienfuegos and Joe McGovern and directed by Guillermo Cienfuegos. This is an unusual presentation considering the stage consists of several chairs, two folding tables (used also for drum beats), a spare cast of eleven actors who go in and out of various characters, and one important prop, a metal crown. However, amazing as this all sounds, with great direction and talented performers, it all really works.

When one first enters the theatre, it is rather perplexing because we find a group of people sitting around a table in rather undressy clothing, joking around, playing with a dog, and with the dressing area behind the stage in full view. Am I in the right place to see Henry V? Is there going to be a dog in this production? Then suddenly, the dog disappears, the table is moved, everyone scatters, and with a fantastic cast, a wonderful production of Henry V evolves.

Alex Fernandez opens the play (also performs the role of Henry IV), and as it resumes, each actor keeps the audience riveted on their performances as they go in and out of various roles. Joe McGovern makes the most of his only role as Henry V, while Carol Weyers is a lovely Katherine. In conversations spoken in French between Katherine and her Lady-in-Waiting (Joan Chodorow), both ladies (to my ears) sound flawless. The choreography for the fight scene representing the Battle at Agincourt, created by Jonathan Rider, seems full-blown when all eleven actors fill the stage. After the battle, of course “All’s well that ends well.”

Performances of Henry V play Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 PM, Sundays at 3 PM, continuing through March 23, 2014 at the Pacific Resident Theatre, 707 Venice Blvd. in Venice. Tickets may be purchased online at www.PacificResidentTheatre.com, or by phone at (310) 822-8392.

Pacific Resident Theater