Clinton School Speaker Series with the cast of Henry V

Clinton School of Public Service Distinguished Speaker Series

Thursday, Sept. 6 | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Clinton School of Public Service, 1200 President Clinton Avenue

This Thursday, join Rep Producing Artistic Director and Henry V director Bob Hupp as he hosts Avery Clark (Henry V), Nikki Coble (Princess Katherine), D.C. Wright (Fight Director) and Mitch Tebo (Archbishop of Canterbury ) from The Rep’s upcoming production of Henry V for a panel discussion on one of Shakespeare’s most famous history plays.

Call the Clinton School at (501) 683-5239 for reservations.

Dance Fight: Battle Choreography in Arkansas Rep’s Henry V

 

Watch as Fight Director D.C. Wright explains how stage combat is planned and rehearsed for maximum impact with minimum injury. 

 

 

Stage combat is risky business. One wrong move, and serious injury could result. That’s why professional Fight Directors are in charge of staging fight scenes that are visually thrilling, while maintaining safety for all actors involved. The choreography is approached much like a dance sequence. Except in this case, the dancers are trying to kill each other.

Fight scenes are planned and then first rehearsed with wooden poles at half speed. Once the actors become trained in the sequences, they move up to using stage weapons. While not razor sharp, the swords, axes and spears you’ll see in the battle scenes at Henry V are replica weapons and could cause major injury if not handled properly. Cast members rehearse fight scenes before every performance to maintain form and precision.

Watch the dramatic battle of Agincourt live on stage. Advance Tickets to Henry V are on sale until Friday.

Medieval Weaponry, King Henry’s War

Watch as Fight Director D.C. Wright explains the history and use of the Medieval Broadsword, and how weapons and armor were used during the time of Henry V and during the famous battle of Agincourt. 

 

 

Henry’s motivation to invade France may certainly be bolstered by the urging of the clergy, who have self-interested motives as evidenced by the parliamentary bill mentioned at the play’s start. But the seed for such action had been planted by his father at the end of 2 Henry IV.

The English army began the invasion with a siege on Harfleur that lasted for 5 weeks. The land on which they were fighting was made of marshes, which were swarmed with flies, and the only available food (rotten fruit and shellfish) led to fever and dysentery. Within a month, some 2,000 English soldiers were dead. Many more were sick enough to be sent home to England.

Though Harfleur was won on September 22, the victory was at a devastating cost. Henry had lost at least a third of his men.

Still, the king made the decision to advance to Calais, 150 miles away. They were met along the way by the French, near Agincourt. It had been raining for a week at Agincourt and rained heavily the night before the battle. This development would soon prove to be the English army’s salvation.

On the morning of October 25, the Feast of St. Crispin, both sides prepared for battle. The English formed three lines across, with archers in between. Henry himself led the center line. Sharpened stakes were set in front of the men as a defense against the French cavalry.

Because the French army was so large and the space was so small, a line formation was impossible. Instead, the French formed a column, deployed in three ranks one behind the other, with cavalry on each side and crossbowmen between.

When the French cavalry and infantry began their attack, their heavy armor began to sink in the mud, making them easy targets for the English archers. The few French who managed to reach the English line were met with short swords, axes and mace clubs.

The second wave of attack met with the same fate, and the third wave fled, leading the English to declare victory at Agincourt. The French losses were extraordinary. Out of approximately 20,000 men, 7,000 were dead. The English had lost around 1,600.

Watch the battle of Agincourt unfold and the story of young King Henry V play out live on stage. Purchase Advance Tickets to Henry V today.