A company of fourteen British and French actors have been announced to lead the cast of Antic Disposition’s Henry V. The culmination of four years of national and international touring, the critically-acclaimed production returns to English cathedrals this autumn to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.
Set in a French military hospital in 1915 – 500 years after the Battle of Agincourt – Antic Disposition’s reimagining follows two groups of wounded French and British soldiers as they raise their spirits by staging their own production of Henry V.
Touring ten of England’s most beautiful cathedrals, this unique adaptation combines Shakespeare’s epic history play with original songs and live music inspired by the poetry of A E Housman. Coinciding with the centenary of the First World War Armistice on 11th November, the tour will conclude with a special run at William Shakespeare’s burial place, Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Leading a company of actors from both sides of the Channel, Nathan Hamilton (As You Like It, Shared Experience; After the Dance, Theatre by the Lake) will make his Antic Disposition debut as King Henry V.
Joining the company are Aude Le Pape, Ollie Kaiper-Leach, Tom Gabriel, Christabel Muir, Scott Howland and Vinicius Timmerman. Completing the cast, Maurice Byrne, Callum Coates, Chris Hespel, Andrew Hodges, James Murfitt, Charles Neville and Dean Riley return to the production, which is a powerful tribute to the young soldiers caught up in conflicts five centuries apart.
Commenting on his new role, Nathan Hamilton said, “Every young actor embarking on his career hopes that he might be lucky enough to portray the one special character that speaks to him louder than any other. The role of Henry V is that for me. I am very excited for the journey that awaits us on this special project.”
Antic Disposition’s production of Henry V was first staged in 2015, 600 years after the Battle of Agincourt. It was performed in ten open-air locations in France, followed by a run in Temple Church in London. The production was revived in spring 2016 to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, when it was performed in Middle Temple Hall in London followed by a tour of eight cathedrals and major churches around the UK.
A second cathedral tour took place in February 2017, visiting a further eight cathedrals. Additionally, in January 2018 the company was invited to perform at the Théâtre National de Nice in France as part of the annual ShakeNice! Festival, making this one of only a handful of productions of Shakespeare’s play ever to be performed in a major French theatre.