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Chorus Passages from Henry V Script



  A company of soldiers enters through the audience, singing.

  Music: ‘Brown Eyes’
  The company then delivers the first chorus, divided
  (like the subsequent ones) between them.

CHORUS 1 (taking the crown from one of the ammunition boxes)
O for a muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention:

CHORUS 2 A kingdom for a stage, princes to act,
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene.

CHORUS 3 On your imaginary forces work.  5

CHORUS 4 Suppose within the girdle of these walls
Are now confined two mighty monarchies, 
Whose high uprearèd and abutting fronts
  The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder.

CHORUS 5 Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts:  10

CHORUS 6 Think, when we talk of horses, that you see them,
Printing their proud hoofs i’th’ receiving earth;

CHORUS 1  For ’tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
Carry them here and there, jumping o’er times,
Turning th’accomplishment of many years  15
Into an hourglass;

CHORUS 2    For the which supply,
ALL Admit us Chorus to this history,

CHORUS 3 Who Prologue-like your humble patience pray
Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play. 

Now watch how propeller perform this scene

Roger warren on Legend and reality in Henry V

By the time Shakespeare wrote Henry V in 1599, his central character was already half-submerged in legend; the prodigal prince who seemed miraculously transformed into the heroic warrior-king who won the battle of Agincourt.  The story was familiar from the chronicles of Hall and Holinshed, but also from more popular sources, such as ballads and the drama. There had been at least two plays (probably more) about Henry V before Shakespeare’s. Did theatre-goers at the newly-constructed Globe in 1599 – when Henry V may have been the opening production – find a picture of Henry V similar to the one with which they were familiar? To some extent they did. The Chorus has some of Shakespeare’s most magnificent, eloquent verse; if you want a picture of the legendary hero-king, here it is; but the Chorus’s idealistic view is constantly juxtaposed with scenes of political and psychological realism  -- and from the very start.

After the Chorus’s opening panegyric, what does the audience see? Not the King in glory, but two ecclesiastical politicians out to defeat a possible attack on church finances by offering Henry a bribe to invade France. It is important to stress that the effect is not wholly ironic or cynical: Henry is not easily bought. He interrupts the Archbishop’s mumbo-jumbo about the Salic law with the penetrating single-line inquiry ‘May I with right and conscience make this claim?’ Once reassured, he calls in the French ambassador, who presents him with the Dauphin’s present of tennis balls and the mocking message that he ‘cannot revel into dukedoms here’. Henry points out that the Dauphin, in deriding ‘our wilder days’, has not noticed ‘what use we made of them’ – that is, acquiring the common touch that will prove so useful with his soldiers, especially at Agincourt. His speech then builds to an elaborate threat to revenge the Dauphin’s insults by invading France: he makes it appear that the invasion is the result of the Dauphin’s mockery, whereas he has already taken the decision to invade. This mental habit of taking a decision and then finding a reason for it is characteristic of the King’s mental processes.

Something similar occurs at the siege of Harfleur. At first, in his exhortation to his troops (‘Once more unto the breach’), he sounds like the heroic warrior-king whom the Chorus describes. But his threat to the inhabitants of Harfleur takes on quite a different tone. In the midst of vividly evoking the rape and pillage with which he threatens them, he asks ‘What is’t to me, when you yourselves are cause?’ If they suffer from the siege, they have only themselves to blame. So with the lack of mercy shown to the three conspirators. In a characteristic cat-and-mouse game, Henry invites them to recommend mercy to another offender. They don’t, and so when they themselves plead for mercy, he can reply ‘The mercy that was quick in us but late / By your own counsel is suppressed and killed’. As at Harfleur, as with the Dauphin’s tennis balls, he passes the buck for tough decisions on to others; it is their responsibility, not his.

This question of a King’s responsibilities or otherwise comes to the fore in the great central scene of the play, the night before Agincourt. Introducing it, the Chorus is at his most eloquent in describing the King’s ‘largess universal, like the sun’, so that his soldiers see ‘A little touch of Harry in the night’. The audience, however, sees something more complicated. An argument breaks out between the soldier Williams and the disguised Henry about the extent to which the King is responsible for his soldiers, and for their souls: Williams says, ‘if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the King that led them to it’. Henry concludes that ‘Every subject’s duty is the King’s, but every subject’s soul is his own’.  This does not quite answer the question of his responsibility, but as Alvin Kernan puts it, ‘no ruler of a state can ever answer such questions’.

Perhaps Henry’s most remarkable speech in this scene is the plea to God not to take revenge on him for his father’s sin in deposing King Richard II. He lists the various things he has done in an attempt to make amends: re-burying Richard’s body in Westminster Abbey, and paying for regular prayers and masses for Richard’s soul. He concludes:
                         More will I do,
   Though all that I can do is nothing worth,
   Since that my penitence comes after ill,
   Imploring pardon.

This is perhaps the moment when we see the private man, as opposed to the efficient politician, most clearly. ‘More will I do’: it sounds almost as if he is trying to do a deal with God. That would be typical of the political operator that we have seen in the public scenes; but then there is a strange dying fall, as if  Henry feels that all his efforts will be in vain – not the most positive frame of mind to face the confident French at Agincourt. But characteristically he sets such doubts aside, pulls himself together, and concludes ‘The day, my friends, and all things stay for me’.

He is thus able to inspire the troops with his ‘Crispin day’ speech – and also able, in the midst of battle, ruthlessly to order the killing of the French prisoners (because they have become a military encumbrance). In the next scene, Fluellen and Gower discover that the deserters from the French army have massacred the baggage-boys, ‘wherefore the King most worthily hath caused every soldier to cut his prisoner’s throat. O ‘tis a gallant King’. This provides an interesting echo of the tennis balls scene. In fact, the killing of the prisoners happens before the discovery of the killing of the boys; Gower, like his King earlier, attributes a subsequent motive  to an event that has already taken place.

In Henry’s wooing of the French princess, there is certainly charm and humour, but also an undertow of that practical sense of political realities that Henry always shows. For the Princess of France is ‘our capital demand’; and towards the end of the scene he says that he wants her to ‘prove a good soldier-breeder’: this is surely a tough and unromantic thing to say. Did Kate ‘prove a good soldier-breeder’?  In the Epilogue, the Chorus calls Henry ‘This star of England’, but also points out that his son was Henry VI, ‘Whose state so many had the managing / That they lost France and made his England bleed’: the marriage of Henry and Kate led eventually to the Wars of the Roses. So it is interesting that even the Chorus ultimately bears witness to the un-heroic aspects that we have seen throughout the play: in its closing moments, legendary ideals and practical realities finally come together.

Roger Warren


The Costumes

Designing with, as distinct from for, the ensemble of people who create a Propeller show, is unique and special. The job of set and costume design can easily be perceived as decorator of the event; 50 years back one would often see the credit ‘décor by…’ on theatre posters. It’s true that ultimately it’s the designer’s responsibility that everything you will see on stage looks right; but good design isn’t just about the visual and theatre design, even more so in that it effects a hundred other aspects of a production - with Propeller, you can double that!

Charles Eames, the innovative furniture designer said that design is “a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose”. Throughout the duration of a live performance, that ‘purpose’ is constantly moving and changing. The pace of transformation and revelation in a Propeller production, as the company’s name suggests, is dynamic. Planning how the scenography can support change, throughout the course of rehearsal and during the intensity of the performance itself, is both challenging and exciting. I regard design in this respect as shaping the process rather than shaping the scenery and clothes.

As with actors in the rehearsal room, designers, directors and technicians have to be prepared to be fleet-of-thought, flexible in their approach and so ready to sacrifice their ‘babies’ to the greater good of the project. The challenge for stage designers is to trust that performance will animate their unforgiving material world of wood, steel and plastic. In an ensemble, the matrix of possible change is multiplied many-fold and the map of the design, the territory of possibility, stretches to the imagination’s horizon.

At the start of rehearsal, the design is less of an original blueprint for the architecture of the production so much as a tool kit with which to build the foundations collaboratively. I’ve never understood Alec Issi joke about the camel being a horse that’s been designed by committee; the thing is that a camel is brilliantly designed… ask a Bedouin. My role has been, to an increasing extent over the span of the company’s work, to strategically harness the ideas of others and sculpt them into some sort of visual cohesion. I aspire to being the design equivalent to Mr Cellophane or the Invisible Man; aspiring to the maxim that ‘good design is obvious, but great design is transparent’. The key driver of the editing process is that the design has to support the storytelling and not just sum everything up by fixing a definitive image on the page, and then translate that to the stage. Likewise, a costume design isn’t complete until a performer is using it. So a costume drawing, particularly one that involves an actor crossing boundaries of age or gender, is simply a graphic way of positioning ideas, posing questions and starting a collective debate. The result is, hopefully, an interesting collision of contrasting ideas in a memorable image that is flexible in performance and so harmonising with Shakespeare’s layered narrative.

Working within this very particular, all-male ‘ensemble de personnes’ brings with it a common bond and a constantly negotiated, but shared, vision. Knowing many of the performers, having returned from previous Propeller productions, gives me a head start. I know their shape, the sound of their voice, hair colour and shoe size -I’m working with friends rather than

Ultimately, mutual trust is the essential ingredient; particularly if you’re talking about engineering whatamounts to a character transplant or, for some, a public sex change!

Michael Pavelka


Designing Henry V

Designing an epic like Henry V could be an assault course. Just when you think you’ve leapt one hurdle there’s then a ditch, then a river and then something nasty round the bend.

In many respects the story is simple: it’s linear, dynamic and serves the central character’s journey — but that’s also a design challenge. How do you make a space that helps the ensemble keep up the pressure, turn the screw, win the day?! Edward Hall and I will spend many a meeting with script and sketchbook and, together, imagine a world that seeks to honour Shakespeare’s intentions but in a contemporary visual language.

We have conceived an interior space, a bunker, a barracks; fortress England, in which the darkest fears and proudest euphoria of a soldier’s imaginings can be shared across a darkened room. Ed and I sit in front of the carefully crafted model of our production’s scenic world…now what? Discussion, debate, speculation, frustration occasionally but with Propeller, always satisfying – call this ‘work’?!

I drew a full sequence of storyboard images that scope the dramatic landmarks of the production before the company rehearse. They can start as doodles in the margins of my script and notes in Ed’s, emerge from our individual copies and become a third, shared vision for the production that we can present and hopefully inspire the ensemble of performers and the team that are Propeller Theatre: to recruit our company.

The scenes change shape through the rehearsal process but the concept seems to hold up. Part-gym-part-parade ground: the designed ‘tool kit’ for the story is tested to the max by the boys in the rehearsal room, itself perhaps a parallel for the retold fable that is England, and tested ‘Once more...’ for the audience.

The key to unlocking this production undoubtedly lies in how we allow the audience to ‘make imaginary puissance’. There are objects in the space that help us to remind the audience that Shakespeare is dealing with ideas first, and immersion second. Take the two punch bags that we’ve placed on either side of the stage, for example. The scene in which Pistol wrangles, beats and torments his French prisoner for a promise of ransom won’t be effective if the audience are asked to witness a stage fight — it won’t be real in any sense. So how does the scenic world help the Propeller ensemble ‘do real’, do violent actions that the audience can stitch together with the dramatic situation? Two masked chorus thrash the punch bags with the full force of baseball bats whilst the characters make actions and reactions without full contact — it’s the audience that piece the two with their imaginings of pain with every thwack.

The creation of women is openly declared, constructed, architectural and, of course, a design opportunity. Princess Katherine has the interval to prepare her image but [with Propeller] in full view of the audience. She applies make up, is bathed, accompanied by the chorus of troops and is presented with her anachronistic late Elizabethan dress — she is dressed for her role politically, poetically and theatrically.

The all-maleness of the company stimulates our collaborative process and makes clearer the onstage game of tag that characterises good ensemble work, a game without the complication of blatant sexual chemistry. Depictions of gender can be reserved and deployed as simply another stylistic idea serving the narrative rather than a sideshow of naturalistic voyeurism.

The audience is constantly reminded that the actors are (very skillfully) pretending — which in turn requires the audience to collaborate in the pretence. The audience is therefore a crucial part of the ensemble. If they can agree to suspend their reality as the actors do and the scenography contextualizes the game, then anything’s possible — leaps in faith, time, space and conventional storytelling logic. I design ‘plastic’ worlds in which this can fluidly happen.

Michael Pavelka

About propeller designer Michael pavelka 

Michael trained at Wimbledon College of Art, where he has since returned to lead the Design for Performance course and is a University of the Arts London (UAL) Reader in Theatre.

He is one of the founder members of Propeller and designed all but one of their productions. He also designed Rose Rage at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater that transferred to 42nd Street, New York for which he was nominated Best Costume Design at Chicago’s Jeff Awards.

His other theatre work among over a hundred productions includes: two plays for the late Lindsey Anderson: The Fishing Trip and Holiday (Old Vic Theatre). At the Library Theatre Manchester his many designs include: The Life of Galileo (Best Design Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards), The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Measure for Measure, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Best Production MEN Awards), Oliver Twist, Great Expectations and more recently The Good Soul of Szechuan.

Michael co-produced a Young People’s Shakespeare Festival in Ulan Bator, Mongolia and designed the first African language Mother Courage and Her Children in Kampala, then playing the Kennedy Center, Washington DC and Grahamstown Festival, South Africa. He recently designed Revelations and Off the Wall with Liam Steel and physical theatre company Stan Won’t Dance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London’s South Bank.

Michael’s many West End productions include; Absurd Person Singular, The Constant Wife, How the Other Half Loves, Other People’s Money, Leonardo, Blues in the Night (also performed in Dublin, New York and Tokyo after two West End seasons); Macbeth starring Sean Bean; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; and A Few Good Men with Rob Lowe (Theatre Royal Haymarket) directed by David Esbjornson. His other productions with David include Twelfth Night (Seattle Repertory Theatre) and Death of a Salesman (Gate Theatre, Dublin)
Designs for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford and at the Barbican include: The Odyssey, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Henry V and Julius Caesar, and for the National Theatre in the Olivier, Edmond starring Kenneth Branagh.

Michael won the TMA’s Best Set Design 2009 for Propeller’s The Merchant of Venice.


Henry V Facts

Henry V was made Prince of Wales the same day his father was crowned King of England.

During the Battle of Agincourt, the French lost 6,000 men. Henry lost 400 men including the Duke of York and Earl of Suffolk.

Henry died on 31st August 1422  having reigned as king for nine years. He left a nine month old infant son, the future King Henry VI.

The "two fingers" insult comes from Henry's archers who used two fingers to hold their bow, and who killed most of the French. The French said they would cut off the archers’ fingers at the Battle of Agincourt, and at the end of the battle the archers stood on the hill and showed off their fingers to the French in what became known as the V sign

The Duke Of York was so fat that he either died from a heart attack carrying the weight of all that armour, or he simply fell off his horse and died. Either way, he smote no one in anger. He was so enormous that in order to him home he was boiled down in a vat overnight and his bones sent back to Fotheringhay where they still lie to this day.

During the battle an English knight, Sir Piers Legge of Lyme Hall, lay wounded in the mud while his mastiff dog fought off the French men-at-arms. Only when Sir Piers’ squire and servants came up after the battle would the mastiff allow anyone to approach his master. Sir Piers did not survive his wounds, but the dog returned to Lyme Hall and is reputed to have sired the English Mastiff breed. The British Bulldog was bred from the English Mastiff.

Princess Katherine was never buried beside Henry. She was simply lain beside him years after her death, and her withered and mummified corpse lay there in Westminster Abbey well into the 18th Century. So much so that Samuel Pepys recorded in his diary that he leant over and kissed the corpse and so later he could say that the "kissed the lips of a Queen".


Ed Hall on Henry V and Shakespeare 

Propeller is an all male Shakespeare company which mixes a rigorous approach to the text with a modern physical aesthetic. We look for as many ways as possible to inform the physical life of the production with the poetry of the text, and we give as much control as possible to the actor in the telling of the story.

The company is as all companies should be: defined by the people in it and not owned by an individual. Indeed, I find it hard to describe Propeller when we are in between shows, as I become aware of our identity only when looking at our work.

We want to rediscover Shakespeare simply by doing the plays as we believe they should be done: with great clarity, speed and full of as much imagination in the staging as possible. We don’t want to make the plays ‘accessible’, as this implies that they need ‘dumbing down’ in order to be understood, which they don’t. We want to continue to take our work nationally and internationally to as many different kinds of audiences as possible, and so to grow as artists and people. We are hungry for more opportunity to explore the richness of Shakespeare’s plays and, if we keep doing this with rigour and invention, then I believe the company, and I hope our audiences too, will continue to grow.

Thrilling, alarming and deeply human, it is always exciting to awake our nationalistic fervour in Henry V, which has to be one of the greatest classical plays about war in the English language.A big, confident play, which illustrates why William Shakespeare continues to be so popular. Over the last 15 years Propeller has performed Shakespeare in over 22 countries to thousands of people. He is as popular today as ever and I am happy to report that from Madrid to New Zealand, China and beyond, Shakespeare and Propeller are thriving.

Shakespeare challenges every preconceived notion we consciously and subconsciously have about people, morality and what it is to be human. Each time you find a moral certainty, Shakespeare shows you the opposite truth. Getting close to his art is a deeply civilizing lesson, it encourages you not to be judgmental, to try to look below the surface of events and situations. Our media driven culture demands that we make instant judgements about everything. Shakespeare reminds us not to get caught up in that vortex. To think a little harder before we judge.

Edward Hall

The making of pocket henry v


Ed Hall on directing pocket productions

Pocket Propeller aims to deliver a first class theatrical experience to a young audience based on a sixty minute version of a Propeller production.

With Pocket Propeller the young audience will be invited into a performance space where the actors will engage them to express and explore their relationship to the work that they see in the freest possible way. We will encourage teachers to allow their pupils to “relax” during the performance and not to feel they have to “behave”. Our young audience needs to be allowed to explore their own reactions to what they see and the Propeller actors will create the environment in which this can happen. After the performance the actors will run a talkback with the audience encouraging them to articulate and explore the responses to the show. Pocket Propeller will leave a young audience not just having experienced Shakespeare for the first time, but having experienced theatre and crucially, theatre of the highest possible standard.

Pocket Propeller offers me the chance as an artist to revisit and develop a piece of established work by going through a process of ‘concentration’ i.e. focusing down a drama to its bare bones and in doing so, hope to recognize the essence of the work. This can often be a surprising and informative experience which helps to make me more aware of what has made up the core of a full scale production and can make me aware of areas to develop into for the next full scale show.

The performances are enormously satisfying as they give me an opportunity to engage a young audience who have not necessarily seen Shakespeare before and perhaps not even been to the theatre. Their reactions are vocal, honest and immediate giving the actors plenty to bounce off as they develop their relationship with their audience, sometimes in very vocal situations which are at the core of a good Shakespearean performance. The performances are delivered by top level Propeller actors, some of whom will have enormous performance experience of the text they are performing allowing them the freedom to concentrate on improvising with their young and very lively audience. It is of particular importance that our young audience are being given access to an experience of the highest standard delivered by experienced and skilled classical actors who are as dedicated to their audience as they would be to an opening night in New York or Milan. In short, it is a way of giving young people access to the best drama as their first and vital taste of Shakespeare. An experience that will contribute to the audiences and theatre makers of tomorrow.

Edward Hall


The Process of the Music for Henry V

There are many different types of musical styles in our production of Henry V. What unites them all is the earthy root of thirteen male actors performing it together to create an effect: to communicate something to the audience at a particular time. A Chorus both theatrical and musical. Whether creating an ecclesiastical atmosphere for the first scene between the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely, or the lager-fuelled party of Pistol, Nym and Mistress Quickly, the power of having thirteen blokes all singing and moving together is a great storytelling force.

The trick is to harness what we have. We sat around on Day One and established whether anybody could play anything, and then Edward Hall said we needed a Te Deum and Non Nobis. Having played and written for piano and guitar in various shows, I said I’d give it a go. Others pitched in with what they could do. So we ended up in differing parts of the show with tap dance, accordion, saxophone and guitar all pootling away alongside four-part harmony choral singing.

We began to learn songs as a group — all of us standing around the piano, and taking various folk songs that we knew and playing with them — seeing whose voice sat where, who could accompany etc. Out of this came the folk tune ‘John O’Dreams’, that we now sing to introduce the Chorus of ‘Now entertain conjecture of a time’... on the night before Agincourt. We just sang it together for ages — a soft, beautiful tune which we split into four harmonies, listening to each other together filling the room with simple sound.

By the time I came to write the Te Deum and Non Nobis it was easy. I dreamt up an introduction and theme for it, but I never wrote it down as a piece of music. We just picked it out and fashioned it together into a rousing, spiritual piece with a religious, ‘choric’ feel. Gunnar Cauthery then said he would write a Requiem in response to the Te Deum — so in the two big Choral numbers there is a deliberate musical correlation. We then used his same music for the Kyrie. Once we had a musical language we found we could knit all sorts of things together. We created contemporary soldiers’ songs which allude to contemporary music.

Actors are extraordinarily adaptable creatures and will learn things very quickly, but to me, there is no point in imposing a piece of music or dance upon a group when most of them are intimidated and don’t think they can do it. They won’t enjoy what they’re doing, it is alien to them, and they won’t sing it very well. If it comes from the group, and we find it together, then the whole group can invest in it, find our joy in it, and therefore communicate what we need to do all the better. To me, there is no difference between dividing up the lines of the Chorus speeches, to the division of the music amongst the company. Each man plays his part. To say I wrote the Te Deum, or did the arrangements for some of the songs, is true in one sense, but actually it came from us all. And I still haven’t written it down.

Nick Asbury

A selection of songs from Henry V performed by Propeller


Show Reports

After every performance of a Propeller production, show reports are sent round to the company to let everyone know any problems or notable incidents. Below are some examples of more unusual comments that have been made during the last tour!

Date:  Saturday 21th July 2012   Performance No: 96

Venue:  Hampstead Theatre    Box Office: 324/100%

Part One Up  2.02  Part Two  Up  3.32
Total playing time  2 hrs 24 mins
Interval             22 mins
Total running time  2 hrs 46 mins


1. Mr Asbury played the part of Pistol this afternoon.
2. An audience member clapped along to Rule Britannia loudly and out of time.
3. LX Q 141 – as Pistol stabs French prisoner – late, as the action and dialogue were out sequence.
4. A warm and responsive audience, there was an extra call.

Date:  Wednesday 13th June 2012   Performance No: 79

Venue:  Lyceum Theatre, Shanghai   

Part One Up  7.32  Part Two  Up  9.02
Total playing time  2 hrs 24 mins
Interval             21 mins
Total running time  2 hrs 45 mins


1. Once more unto the breach, was slightly marred by Mr Bell standing between the projector and screen SL and having the Chinese translation projected across his crotch.

2. During the silence after Davy Gam, a gentleman exited the auditorium chatting on his mobile.

3. The leek scene was very well received.

4. The tower was set too far upstage and the King of France was unable to make his exit through the tower and off UR, having instead to double back and make the exit MSR.

5. The house lights came on momentarily with the calls state. This was due to Miss Bardsley mishearing the stand by over the radio.

6. There was round as the company entered.

7. A warm and responsive audience.

Date:  Tuesday 22nd March 2011   Performance No: 38

Venue:  Harvey Theatre, Brooklyn, New York 

Part One Up  19:35  Part Two  Up  20:55
Total playing time   1 hr  56 mins
Interval             23 mins
Total running time  2 hrs 19 mins


1. SQ 2 (the reveal of the twins) was played early. Operator error

2. During Scene 2 there was some feedback from the small wireless speaker.

3. Balthazar’s bottle of Strongbow was changed to a bottle of Colt 45 tonight for greater local impact.

4. The haze was a little dense in Scene 5 so was pulled back a bit.

5. Mr Frame had a senior moment in Scene 10 and managed to forget to put his wig on before going onstage. He put it on the next time he left the stage but compounded his error by putting it on back to front, much to the amusement of his colleagues.

6. A fine show to a large and rollicking audience

Date:  Friday 5th August 2011   Performance No: 107

Venue:  Kronborg Castle, Helsingor   Box Office:  290 est/506   57%

Part One Up  20:00  Part Two  Up  21:23
Total playing time   1 hr  53 mins
Interval             26 mins
Total running time  2 hrs 19 mins


1. Lots of photographs were being taken from the auditorium during the pre-show. FOH were informed but as the boys were blatantly posing it seemed fair enough. It stopped once the show started

2. In Scene 6, the handle of the SR of the upstage doors came off in Mr Newman’s hand when he opened it for Mr Hand’s offstage scream. He threw it into the wings and it was reattached in the interval.

3. An excellent final show which received a full standing ovation from a very lively and warm audience.

Date:  Friday 18th November 2011   Performance No: 11

Venue:  Theatre Royal, Brighton   Box Office: 185/960 19%

Part One Up  19.46  Part Two  Up  21.15
Total playing time  2 hrs 25 mins
Interval             20 mins
Total running time  2 hrs 45 mins


1. The lamp in unit 204 was working but not its movement or scroller. This will be looked at tomorrow and switched out if necessary.

2. The hazer wasn’t on at the start of the show but was switched on during Scene 1. It was very loud and was pumping haze out very thickly. The board op was unable to drop the level so a member of crew came and switched it off. It was switched back on during the interval and behaved after this.

3. Mr Bell started to sing All Through the Night instead of Brown Eyes at the end of Act 1. The company started to sing the same song before Mr Bell loudly began the correct song and they all followed suit.

4. A quiet show.

And some of our other favourite comments from this tour...

"There was a noise in the auditorium during the end of Scene 4. This was as a result of Mr Gregory falling off his chair."

"Mr Bell gave a somewhat improvised performance of Naughty, Naughty this evening."

"Mr Bell was a bit thrown when the audience members he picked on answered him back and threw his underwear straight back at him."

"Mr Allen had a nose bleed during the end of Bohemia. Mr Hanlon was a gentleman and offered his sleeve to mop up with."

"The Italy Germany match finished during the wooing scene and lots of cars could be heard outside hooting their horns."

“Mr Hanlon opened his can of beer downstage rather than in the usual position. This resulted in the downstage float mic breaking due to being filled with beer.”

“Mr Hanlon again opened the beer can downstage. It missed the mic today but christened a member of the audience. Stage management spoke to him about this. It seems that he has confused a recent note.”

“When Mr Leigh made his exit through the auditorium at the end of the leek scene he got lost front of house. When he finally made it to the pass door stage management had left the door to go and look for him. He persuaded a member of bar staff to let him back stage, they did this through a door in the basement where he got lost again. Stage management finally tracked him down back in him dressing room after his adventure.”

“When Mr Asbury threw the leek at the cammo stage right at the end of the leek scene he missed. However, he did hit Mr Bell squarely on the behind.”


Prop list for the show

Managing all the props needed for just one performance of Henry V is no easy task! Take a look below for a list of all the weird and wonderful things our stage managers have to keep track of. 

4 x large ammo cases
2 x flight steps
1 x Tower    
1 x steel deck palette (WT)
Water sprays
Prairie dust    
2 x Pennywhistles 
1 x Low D whislte
1 x bugel    
3 or 4 x harmonicas
Bosun's whistle
8 x kazoos    
2 x galvanised dustbins & lids
1 x broadsword 
1 x black umbrella
1 x white parachute (6m)
1 x navy blue material (4m)
3 x brooms     
White tennis balls (x 300)
15 x police night sticks
(13 x and  2 x spare)
13 x baton clips/sheaths
Weapons x 14
Daisy planter    
Lead club    
3 x baseball bats
Family tree    
13 x Bergens
13 x blanket rolls etc
Fluellen radio handset:
Box on top of bergen
Military telephone handset
Telephone coil
Welsh pennant flag
3 x police shields
3 x police riot helmets
Wooden Crucifix
Tennis ball box
Air raid siren    
2 x large maps of France
Chess pieces 
3 x cardboard files
Documents  for files
Long matches
Mess tins x 8
sand containers
playing cards x 2
Walking stick
Binoculars x 2
Red petals    
Lampshades x 3
Flashing red heart
13 x maglites
Bowie knife    
Bucket x 2    
Water bladder
2 x Thuribles
Poison bottle
Nail brush    
Dressing table &
Kitchen knife
French-English dictionary
Small map (Fluellen)
Glass of Brandy
Camera with flash
Butcher's block
Bill hook x 2    
execution block/log
Notebook & pencil
2 x water sprayers
10 x waterbottles
1 x cigarette
Lighter x 2    
1 x small backpack
1 x leather money bag
Coins, crowns
White foam ball
1 x shilling (coin)
Swagger stick
Leeks x 2     
George cross flag
Tape recorder
Tobacco tin    
Sparring shield
7 x red wine, plastic
12X packs tobacco/cigs
Small material cover box
2 x slabs Tennants lager
2x list of names of soldiers dead


Interview with executive producer caro mackay 

Interview with company manager Nick Chesterfield





As Propeller’s sound designer I’m very much a part of the rehearsal process. I’m there every day, just like every member of the acting company, making the whole process very organic and cohesive so that everyone creates the product together.

Through the rehearsal process, we will continually add to the music and the actors will introduce new ideas and instruments. My role is to make everything then work on stage by decided what sort of amplification is needed and which instruments will work best.

Just as the actors use rehearsals to develop their parts with the director, I use this as an opportunity to try out different effects and ideas. The rehearsal room is a safe, non-pressurised environment in which I can experiment alongside the action. By the time we then put everything on stage and do a technical run, myself and the actors are already familiar with what can sometimes be very complex musical sequences.

Once the show is up and running, I then look at the tour ahead and try to maintain the same consistency of sound quality no matter what venue or country were in. Each venue often has its challenges, but I try to embrace this and use whatever you can to your advantage.

My role is ever-changing; each production varies and brings new challenges.  

David Gregory

sound effects 

The sounds below are designed to conjure up images of war and battle, adding to the atmosphere of a scene and throwing the audience into the world of Henry V.