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Shakespeare on the Lawn at MERAby Wilma Kenny
O! for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention!
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene.
All rabble and monarchs are herewith invited to behold a torchlight presentation of Shakespeare’s Henry V, at the MERA Schoolhouse in McDonald’s Corners on Thursday evening, July 5.
The Company of Fools are the actors, and the McDonald’s Corners Farmers’ Market is your host. Supper is served from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and the play begins promptly at 7 p.m. Bring lawn chairs or blankets, and be prepared for weather and insects. Admission is “pass-the-hat-pay-what-you-can” with a suggested minimum donation of $10.
The Fools are an Ottawa-based troupe inspired by the rogue Elizabethan players that once entertained audiences outdoors and at the Globe theatre. Being Fools, they combine physical theatre techniques such as clown, mask and puppetry with the classical text.
Wild and witty, outrageously punny, and imaginatively adaptive, the Fools say this about their version of Henry V: “War is Heck! Henry the Fifth is a Boy meets Girl story with a slight twist. Part “Saving Private Ryan” and part “Before Sunrise”, this tale of patriotism and romance finds the boy, struggling under the heavy mantle of recent ascension to the throne. Excited to try his leadership skills, he sets out to invade the girl’s country, based on a dubious claim to the throne. He lays siege to a key logistical port, marches inland and against the odds manages to defeat a much larger force by deploying new military strategies…and then he meets girl.
“Presented by the graduating class of the Wm. Golding Academy, Shakespeare’s King Henry the Fifth is a reflection on what it means to be a monarch. This is an overreaching and unflinching production that tackles all the tough questions: Why do we fight wars? What qualities make a good leader? Can this cockpit hold the vast fields of France? And what are we going to do with all of these tennis balls?”
To enjoy a full “dinner-and-theatre” evening, arrive at 5:30 p.m. for the Farmers’ Market supper – the à la carte menu includes a spit-roasted pig, fresh-baked bread, wood-fired pizza, a variety of salads, a tempeh entrée (not spit-roasted), a groaning board of sweets, cold drinks and full barista service. Bring your own plates and cutlery. Dinner service closes at 6:30 p.m. so we will be ready for the 7 p.m. performance.
For more information, contact Kristine Swaren at 613-278-1226 or email@example.com. Online information: Directions to MERA: meraschoolhouse.org; Henry V plot summary: www.shakespeare-online.com/plots/henryvps.html; the full schedule of Fools performances: www.fools.ca.