Henry V monologue act 1 scene II

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Henry V monologue act 1 scene II

Performed by Tom Gwynfryn. Directed and edited by Alun Rhys Morgan, 2016

Tom Gwynfryn talks about the artistic process that informed his work on the Henry V speech: “I chose the piece initially while going through the auditions stages to study at RADA. I contacted a close friend of mine, Alun Rhys Morgan, and pitched the idea to make a short film using the monologue as a piece to camera. We had worked together before on a few short films and he’s someone I trust as a director and a film maker. The location was an old abandoned church in the heart of the Welsh valleys. We did three takes and decided to go with the final take as we were lucky enough to capture the rain fall in the background near the window. Alun managed to film and edit the short within a day and we thought it would be fitting to release it on the weekend of Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary. Along with Shakespeare’s writing of course, I think the sound design is what really lifts and brings the whole piece together. As an actor I’m a firm believer in using my intuition and picking pieces that I connect with personally. I feel when you can connect with the emotion behind the writing you can place yourself in the characters mind set or circumstance a lot more organically and bring more of your own truth and conviction to the performance. My appreciation of Shakespeare’s work has grown as I’ve got older. After going to view many of his plays played by countless of different actors I still find it hard to believe that such an individual existed. The fact that his work is still being performed today and that he’s still very much loved and celebrated around the world is a testament to the power and genius behind his plays and writing. Shakespeare writes about basic human emotion. These human emotions are relatable and reflected in every individual. This is where his genius lies. I’m of the opinion that his work transcends all social barriers especially now in 2016. How can human emotion and experiences ever become dated? Especially when written in such a paradox of complexity and simplicity. The piece is taken from Shakespeare’s Henry V Act 1 scene 2. The messenger has just returned from France to give Henry V, the young King of England, a chest of tennis balls from the Dauphin in France and has advised the king to stay in England and continue to play his games in the safety of his own kingdom. Henry returns with a rallying message worthy of his Kingship and a declaration of war on France. I hope you enjoy the piece and thank you to Shakespeare.org.uk for sharing it.”


The views expressed in this post are the author’s own.

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