Then I was talking to an actor-type friend after the local elections and he pointed out that his two theatre groups were performing respectively Henry V and Richard III, conveniently enough on either side of our already booked trip. More tickets were purchased.
And last Saturday the Great Summer of Shakespeare began, with a performance of Henry V in front of HMS Victory. I already posted photos from the day in another entry, but I'll just add at this point that the new Mary Rose Museum is fabulous and has lots of fun interactive bits. Plus Hatch the Dog needs more merchandise, especially as they don't make T-shirts featuring his picture in anything like sensible sizes.
Having popped out to eat (and why has it taken me so many trips to Portsmouth to realise that Gunwharf Quays is simultaneously that place I used to drive to in order to eat seafood with my former boss and the place I walk past when getting from Portsmouth Harbour Station to Southsea?) we returned to the Historic Dockyard, where seats had been arranged in front of the Victory.
The play had been splendidly adapted for the setting with 'sailors' used instead of 'soldiers' at various points, and the character of 'Chorus' telling us when the scenes were changing from one country to another. Even the Victory played her part, with the striking of the colours being incorporated into the start of the second half of the play, and the St Crispin's Day speech being spoken from her deck.
The cast cunningly contrived to let us know whether they were being English or French according to the colours of their sashes, and all the props were ship-related. I definitely want to see more from this group (Collingwood RSC).