Time's Fancy: The War of King Henry V and Joan of Arc
Need for deliberate dialogue slows otherwise great production down
Company: Sixth Planet Productions
Genre: Play - Drama
Venue: 12 — Asper Centre for Theatre & Film
Imagine a timeline where King Henry V lives to face Joan of Arc in battle. Playwright Kevan Kenneth Bowkett does just this in his alternative history play framed as an homage to all things Shakespearean.
Time's Fancy is a strong piece of playwriting. The language and tone are spot on, and there are plenty of nods to famous Shakespearean works. A welcome bit of anachronism is the strong feminist line that weaves its way through the story.
The cast is stellar; filled with familiar local talent. In particular, Daina Leitold does exemplary work as the fool. Historical period plays tend to the turgid, and Leitold helps mightily to lighten the mood and quicken the tempo.
But there is only so much that a fool can do. The actors do an excellent job delivering their blank verse slowly and clearly, which is imperative with a play where no one is familiar with the unfolding plot. However, this need for deliberateness slows the tempo drastically. It's a conundrum.
An alternative history play framed as an homage to all things Shakesperean.- Michelle Palansky
If you deliver the dialogue quickly to heighten the tension, then the audience cannot follow the action. If you slow down the dialogue, then the audience more easily follows, but the urgency of the story suffers.