"Characterful, charming and immensely unique"
by Eleni Young for remotegoat on 22/05/11

The idea of watching a performance in a half renovated theatre may make a lot of people think twice. But, the use of space in this theatre was creative, innovative and highly effective. On entering the theatre with the other audience members, confined into a characterful but tiny foyer I was surprised at the vastness of the performance space. Flooding the theatre to represent the divide of both countries and to depict the carefully choreographed fight scenes really added to the intensity of the piece. The Rose theatre is crammed full of wonderful character, history and hopefully a shining future. And all of this is reflected not just in the building but in the performance, the warm smiles of the volunteers and the passion of performance.

Picking up from the end of Henry V, in the throes of war between England and France, the audience is thrown into not just a war between countries but amongst their own kinsmen. The relationships between the characters were raw and unflinchingly real. The hate relationship between Gloucester and Winchester was a delight to watch, as was the passion and lust of the Dauphin. It was interesting to see the entrance of Margaret, wonderfully expressive and would be more interesting to see her characters own development in the following plays. Seated so close to the action made the audience apart of the experience merely than just watching it. The costumes kept the divide simple and succinct with defining colours representing the English and the French. High-end spectacle, special effects and loud displays were not needed for this production as the actors and simplistic setting did everything they needed to and more.

Easily accessible to any theatre-goer, enjoyable and energy-packed performance they kept the audience on the tip of their toes throughout a challenging piece and chilly venue.

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