Rattlestick Productions David Van Asselt, Artistic Director presents ST. CRISPIN'S DAY By MATT PEPPER
Rattlestick Theatre 224 Waverly Place (bet. W. 11 & Perry Sts., W. of Seventh Ave. So.) Tickets: (212) 868-4444 or www.smarttix.com June 14 - July 20, 2003 Directed by SIMON HAMMERSTEIN Sets MICHAEL V. MOORE Costumes CHARLENE ALEXIS GROSS Lighting PETER HOERBURGER Fight Director DAVID HEUVELMAN Stage Manager TERRY A. CIOFALO Press Representation OPR/ORIGLIO PUBLIC RELATIONS
Cast David Wilson Barnes - Lauren Berts - Lee Blair Denis Butkus - Mayhill Fowler - Michael Gladis Darren Goldstein - Richard Liccardo - Tommy Schrider
In ST. CRISPIN'S DAY, author Matt Pepper has taken one aspect of William Shakespeare's HENRY V and run with it, spinning the wheels of his own imagination until a brand new play was born. The world that results, set in France on the eve of the Battle of Agincourt, and told from the point of view of the beleaguered British soldiers, hints at the sort of literary editing that might spring into the mind of a high school student being introduced to the Bard for the first time, and trying desperately to make the storyline interesting, and relatable. So, and to that end, we find a quirky, grown up version of child-like war games, where the soldiers wrestle, knee each other's nether regions, wonder at whores, betray each other at whim and pillage where possible. However, and in keeping with the general structure of Shakespeare, ST. CRISPIN'S DAY contains a series of characters who represent not only type, but philosophy. We meet one avid military man, one member of the clergy, a handful of bloodthirsty, mindless soldiers, two prostitutes, two thieves, one king, and one man with a plan to end the war. While very different from HENRY V, this new comedy is set in the same dank, miserable setting that Shakespeare's soldiers encountered. The main difference, aside from ST. CRISPIN'S DAY being very funny, is that Mr. Pepper has taken a short scene from one play and turned it into a 75 minute romp that evolves rather seamlessly despite a slim plot. Paired with a simple but functional set, good costumes, fast-paced direction and some spirited acting, the play feels meatier than it really is. One need not be familiar with Shakespeare's original to enjoy Pepper's adaptation. ST. CRISPIN'S DAY stands on it's own comedic feet as respectable diversion.
- Kessa De Santis -