Evonne: Wednesday: W is for William


Globe Theatre Flyer

William – as in Shakespeare.

Shakespeare as in Henry V.

Henry V as in the Globe Theatre production that is currently on tour around the country.

Henry V as in Jamie Parker, the actor who plays him.

All right. Confession time. I’m cheating. I’d been eyeing up Mr Parker as this week’s Wednesday Hot Hero, but now, instead of admiring his brown eyes and his biceps, delightful as they are, I get to talk about his portrayal of Hal. It’s very fine indeed, and I’d recommend it if you like theatre, but the thing that struck me most about it was the balance in the performance between the warrior king and the fallible man.

Many actors, portraying Hal as the reformed wastrel, eager to prove himself on the battle field, concentrate on the military leader and only soften in the delightful late scene where he attempts to woo the French Princess – he with no French and she with no English. Jamie Parker’s prince was a soldier desperately trying to come to terms with his life, hiding his grief at the death of his former mentor, Falstaff, revealing his insecurities to the audience alone as he prepares for battle, rallying his soldiers with the power of his personality, while disguising his private doubts.

For me, it was romantic hero just as I like to write them, an action man, with a vulnerable soul. Woe betide anyone who sees that side of him … until the heroine comes along.

So, thank you Mr Parker. You’ve given me another set of images and emotions, especially emotions, which I can draw on when creating my next hero. I can see him now. He won’t have Hal’s crown, but he might have your conscience … and your tortured brown eyes.

14 thoughts on “Evonne: Wednesday: W is for William

  1. A very fine cheat indeed Evonne. And tortured brown eyes – my absolute favourite 🙂 Great use of the Wednesday slot X

  2. What a clever post, Evonne – something to see, something to think about and someone to watch out for for his, ahem, heroic qualities all in one blog!

  3. Heroic qualities – exactly. Nothing about his biceps, hauling all those swords around.
    Seriously though, the whole production is worth seeing.

  4. I saw Adrian Lester as Henry V at The National a few years ago, in a production which emphasised the strong parallels between the war in Iraq and the political situation at the time of Henry V. An interesting posting, Evonne. Thank you.

  5. Christina – well, as Margaret says, we do tell lies for a living. 🙂

    Liz – always interesting to compare performances. So much is down to the director also.

  6. I’m always ready to fall in love with a soldier. So, as an experiment in contrariness, I’m now planning a story about a WW2 pacifist and wondering what will happen to him!

  7. Good use of the Wednesday W, Evonne, and working in a hottie too? Excellent. Plus, my younger son is a William, so double thumbs-up from me!

  8. Interested in the pacifist, Margaret. A lot of conscientious objectors lost their jobs as a result – and being a pacifist didn’t necessarily mean you didn’t go to war, just that you didn’t fight – medical orderlies in the RAMC were often ‘conchies’.

    Hope your William is less trouble than Hal, Jane!

  9. Hi Juliet – another William in the family. I certainly get inspiration from theatre – I’m sure that is where my ‘dark’ side comes from. At least, I hope it does. If not …
    I don’t remember an actor with the same sort of interpretation that Jamie Parker offered – but then, the memory is not what it was!

  10. Evonne – As you know, I lurve Shakespeare, but I’ve never seen Henry V. The Globe Theatre is just brilliant, and I can even forgive the hard benches. It’s all part of the tremendous atmosphere and good fun, and there’s a Pizza Express next door. What more could a girl want?

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