Taken as a whole, the history plays are the most neglected of Shakespeare's dramatic works, not least because their animation of "real" history is perceived as potentially alienating for a contemporary audience. In "Henry V", however, we find a play that is a thrilling theatrical journey and the use of the play in production from the Elizabethan period to our own time presents fascinating examples of the use of Shakespeare for purposes of propaganda or satire. The University of Glamorgan "Henry V" attempted to be a production for the twenty-first century, and used Shakespeare's text to explore contemporary ideological issues and political anxieties. The production design utilized the iconography of sport and familiar images from the news media to develop and explore the regional, national, and global concerns that the script of Shakespeare, himself the greatest adapter in the history of English theater, seems able to facilitate.
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|Published - 2004