Another fab thing about Henry 6th is the hilarious stereotyping of the French - in Act Two, they're wandering around half-dressed, disorderly, and totally unprepared for battle.
Meanwhile, the English hero Talbot is winning battles, trading witticisms with French Laydeeeesss and giving glory and honour to the full force of England - a leader who's a team player.
As I mentioned last time, it's all very wham-bam, thankyou Ma'am, and it's totally a boy-play, in the way that most movies with Sly Stallone are boy-movies. The battles, the short dialogue, the fast pace, it's all there.
Now I'm not much of a boy-movie person. I enjoy the occasional James Bond (more because I can indulge in my favourite sport of eye-rolling), and some espionage type stuff does hold appeal for me. The more brainless movies like Fast and Furious just leave me bored.
But even though I don't always enjoy that kind of movie, I'm finding it really refreshing to see an action plot through the eyes of Elizabethan language and intrigue - for me, it lifts it to a completely different level. Does that mean I'm a snob? I don't really know... Am I a snob because I find the form more interesting, and the concerns of the plot more relevant to life now?
Shakespeare's thematic concerns in his history plays are clearly the construction and use of power - and I think that's part of what keeps them so fresh and relevant.
So maybe I'm not a snob, but I do find action in this form more mentally and emotionally engaging. And you get to read the word "contumeliously". Mmmmmm :-)
I'm also really looking forward to seeing a high-school version of Comedy of Errors on Saturday night - hurrah! It'll be interesting to see if they can pull off the whole 'two sets of identical twins' thing successfully enough.
And props to Bron S for recommending "Looking For Richard", a 1996 Al Pacino doco on Richard III - I am totally going to hunt for a copy of that to bolster my History phase, and look forward to hearing from English actors about why they reckon Americans have difficulty performing Shakespeare - well duh!
Does anyone else out there have a Shakespearian Doco Recommend?