Shakespeare's Henry V presented staging problems right from the beginning, what with its scenes in England and France, huge battles and large cast. Shakespeare worked around the first two problems through the use of a narrator (the Muse of Fire), who explains at the beginning that it's best if the audience brings some imagination to the proceedings; the third problem is solved only through use of a big cast. St. Louis Shakespeare does the big cast thing very well indeed, so the company should be right at home with Henry V's demands. Here we get the former slacker prince, young Hal, growing into manhood and royal responsibility as he leads his armies into war ("Once more into the breach") and rallies them in their darkest hour with his famous St. Crispin's Day speech. Henry V is a rouser, no doubt about it. St. Louis Shakespeare gives us the royal treatment at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (September 30 through October 9), with one 7:30 p.m. show on Thursday, October 6. Performances take place at the Grandel Theatre (3610 Grandel Square; 314-361-5664 or www.stlshakespeare.org), and tickets are $15 to $25.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Sept. 30. Continues through Oct. 9, 2011