Under the stars with the Bard

Daniel Sucar
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‘Harry the King: The Famous Victories of Henry V’will be presented at Kirkland’s Ecclestone Park Wednesday night and at Beaconsfield’s Centennial Park on July 27. Shows begin at 7 p.m.

All performances are pay-what-you-can, but donations are warmly accepted. For more information on Repercussion Theatre, visit repercussiontheatre.com.

This summer, Shakespeare-in-the-Park is going to be bigger, better, and more ambitious than ever before.

Repercussion Theatre presents ‘Harry the King,’ a new adaptation which combines four of Shakespeare’s historical plays; ‘Richard II,’ ‘Henry IV Part 1,’ ‘Henry IV Part 2,’ and ‘Henry V.’

Adapted as a play within a play, Harry the Kingfollows Harry, a seemingly carefree prince. When Harry is called upon to take action in times of chaos, he rises to the occasion, and morphs into an exemplary king who exhibits admirable traits and an abundance of intelligence.

The bold project was co-written by Repercussion Theatre’s Artistic Director Paul Hopkins, and local Shakespeare scholar Karen Oberer. McGill University’s Paul Yachnin, Tomlinson Professor of Shakespeare Studies, was the script consultant for the visionary project.

“You’re getting 12 hours of writing condensed into two hours of theatre,” said Aris Tyros, who plays the titular character. “You get the best of the best, and all the great scenes and moments.”

Tyros has collaborated with Repercussion Theatre in the past; last year, he portrayed one of the lovers in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’ This summer, he’s charged with breathing life into the young prince’s complex personal journey.

“Harry starts off trying to find his own way, and attempts to rebel against his father and be his own person,” said Tyros. “Following the death of his father, he realizes that he has to make a tough decision for the sake of England, and makes a sacrifice for the greater good.”

To bring this thrilling project to life, Repercussion Theatre enlisted the services of A-list stage actor Joel Miller. With a slew of distinguished credits under his belt, Miller has been a highly respected professional actor, director, and dramaturge for nearly 50 years. He was also the artistic director of the English section of the National Theatre School for eight years. In Harry the King, Miller plays Falstaff, the prince’s budding companion.

“Falstaff is a big mixture of thievery, skullduggery and a critique of feudalism,” said Miller. “He represents the appetite for life, and he embodies the exact opposite of the responsibilities of kingship.”

Featuring solid acting, an ambitious script, and Shakespeare-in-the-Park’s signature high quality, Harry the Kingis sure to leave audiences mightily entertained.

Over the years, Repercussion Theatre’s Shakespeare-in-the-Park series have enchanted us by coupling magnetic ambiences with the brilliance of the Bard. Whether we’ve been enticed by the star-crossed lovers, or followed Macbeth’s rivetingly dark ascension, or marvelled at the magic of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ the production company has consistently amazed us with their imaginative adaptations.

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