HENRY V by William Shakespeare directed by Thea Sharrock (BBC Two)

So there we have it. Shakespeare’s TV tetralogy (a word I have never knowingly used before) is complete.

This quartet of the bard’s history plays have triumphantly brought the very best of the British theatrical tradition to the small screen and for this we should be truly thankful.Any accusations of the BBC dumbing down its drama will have to put on hold for a few years at least.

The Henrys (IV + V) were directed in a more traditional manner but , aside from the flop of Falstaff, they have provided a master class in acting. Richard II was the boldest and most cinematic of the four which is why it remains the highlight of the series for me.

In Henry V, Tom Hiddleston cuts a dash in a leather bomber jacket. Not for him the burden of regal regalia as he defies the “confident and lusty French” and leads his not particularly merry “band of brothers” to win the Battle of Agincourt against all the odds. Continue reading

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