The King #5 Henry

“In Canada,

Hockey is Shakespeare.”

“In April 2000 I adapted Henry the Fifth to explore the mythical dynamics of a hockey arena, emblematic of the Canadian national identity, and to present my adaptation of the play itself, in the works for many years previously. The resulting epic on ice, The King #5 Henry, sought to evoke the spirits of the play by overlapping it in a charged environment. This palimpsest did not interpret Henry V in light of any specific Canadian historical moment, but instead strove to place both actors and audience into a vortex of meaning, allowing each individual’s experience of this spectacle to be differentiated in its similarity. Of course, my own meanings were presented, and my theatrical aims in merging these two forms were realized. In Canada, hockey is Shakespeare. From the speed of the skaters evoking horses, the use of the stick as a weapon, the hockey-helmeted armor, and so forth, including the arena itself, which is our Canadian “wooden O.” In my adaptation, all of these tropes coincided at once.” Not the Globe Theater or anything which resembles the ancient greek theater where our drama originatese. Would Will have used a Hockey Arena if his Globe Theater was not available? Doubtful, but that doe not mean we should not when making theater performances around the globe in this wonderful world wide medium of the internet.

Quoted from Ken Hudson, Unpopular Art: Local Stories and Spatial Narratives

This work has recently been included in the archive of Canadian Adaptations of ShakepeareClick Here to view the entry for The King #5 Henry. This archive, based at the Univeristy of Guelph Canada, now is the largest Shakespeare site on the entire internet and growing, with resources for the expert and student alike. Visit the archive today!