Welcome to The Sprout! Please sign up or login

Review: Henry VI @ Wales Millennium Centre

Posted by thoughshebe from Cardiff - Published on 11/02/2016 at 10:34
0 comments » - Tagged as Art, Culture, History, Stage

  • Henry VI

Omidaze ProductionsHenry VI

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

Thursday 4th February 2016

Go to this if you are willing to play your part.

Omidaze are providing theatre as a full body, visceral experience and you are a part of it.

Be ready to move with the actors, rush from scene to scene, listen in on history and live to tell the tale.

Guided up an improbably narrow backstage staircase you already feel transported to a place forbidden, as if to eavesdrop on privy councils. Scribbled history, re-written again and again along the walls, leads you onward and upward into the industrial roof-space, a perfect foil, all uncomfortable hard surfaces and filled with menacing sound, which resonates at the perfect volume throughout the show.

Crowding around the more intimate spaces under scaffold props, at times you become the all seeing and hearing walls of chambers and dungeons, turrets and great halls. After following the story for two hours, the interval is welcome. However, the joint effort of cast and audience adds to the sense of bearing witness, as pacts and allegiances form and fail. The sparse surroundings amplify the narrow focus, nothing matters here but power play and gaining position is life or death.

The costume design is particularly strong, in subtle tones of grey. Inside out trousers and jackets are beautiful yet utilitarian with military elements. The costumes work as hard as the cast, jackets deftly removed and replaced to signify the many exits and deaths of characters.

The aerial work of Hannah O'Leary makes use of the lofty heights of the space, highlighting Henry as isolated, tethered in his precarious position and constrained in power. The characters flinch as Henry drops, suddenly seeming at risk, this is when the aerial work is most embedded in the work.

The whole cast works hard, with impressive attack, stamina and intensity throughout. Sioned Jones is particularly enlivening bringing a passionate immediacy. Lizzie Winkler's solo pieces are absorbing and her costume cleverly throws her into an exciting and malevolent Richard III.

Leaving, you feel somehow inveigled in the twisted and treacherous tale and know you've witnessed some powerful storytelling.

Henry VI is on at the Wales Millennium Centre till Saturday 20th February 2016

Want to win a Sprout T-shirt? Fill in theSprout Satisfaction Survey!

Events // February 2016 theSprout Editorial Group (SEG) Meeting

Info // Things To Do // The Arts // Acting, Drama and Theatre

Articles // Filter Articles // Reviews

Articles // Categories // Stage

*Submit your stuff for publication here*

Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post comments on this website.

Login or Register.

Please take a few minutes to complete this survey. It will help us find out how you use the website so we can keep improving it for you. Everyone who completes the survey will get the chance to win £50.