You can now watch the rehearsal room run through of Henry VI Part One online.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, we opened the virtual doors to our rehearsal rooms so audiences could see the work behind our live performances.

Giving unprecedented access into the process of theatre-making, this is a unique opportunity to experience Shakespeare's early play which is performed as a rehearsal room run through. Experience the thrill of rebellion, the brutality of battle, and ambition without boundaries. Beginning Shakespeare's Wars of the Roses trilogy, Henry VI Part One follows a young and reclusive Henry, who is proclaimed King of England after the death of his father.

This live run through is now available again to watch online through Vimeo. The performance works as a prequel to our current productions of Henry VI: Rebellion and Wars of the Roses, as well as being part of the histories cycle culminating in Richard III, coming this summer to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

 Buy your ticket for £10 and watch any time up until 30 September 2022.

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How the project worked

During the three-week rehearsal period, audiences were invited to watch three online sessions a day.

  • Warm ups: Each morning, a member of the acting or creative team took the company through a range of activities to help them limber up for the day's rehearsing. Viewers were invited to join in as the company warmed up their bodies, voices and minds using popular theatre techniques and games.
  • Lunchtime rehearsals: These in-depth sessions saw the acting company grapple with the text of the play and work out how to get it onto its feet. Some rehearsals focused on individual scenes, while others looked at fight choreography, exploring the language, and working within the Covid-19 protocols.
  • Green Room chats: At the end of the day, members of the company came together to talk through the rehearsal process and answer questions from the public. We also had visitors from outside the acting company, including our Stage Management team, creative team members, and some of the musicians who worked on the project.

For viewers who wanted even more information, there were expert talks on the real life of Henry VI, and the relevance of the plays to our contemporary world, respectively.

Once rehearsals were complete, the company ran through the full production, with audiences tuning in to see the culmination of everyone's work.

Cast

Jamie Ballard - Talbot
Michael Balogun - York
James Cooney - Alencon
Marty Cruickshank - Reignier
Mariah Gale - Margaret
Mark Hadfield - Winchester
Amanda Harris - Exeter
Oliver Johnstone - Suffolk
Mimî M Khayisa - Somerset
Anna Leong Brophy - Burgundy
Christopher Middleton - Gloucester
Lily Nichol - Joan
Mark Quartley - Henry VI
Bridgitta Roy - Warwick
Liyah Summers - Bastard
Jamie Wilkes - Charles, the Dauphin

Creatives

Directors - Gregory Doran and Owen Horsley
Music - Paul Englishby
Movement - Polly Bennett
Fights - Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown