The production, (directed by Elizabeth Freestone) has a modern setting,with a minimal, stripped-down set.
At the outset, Ben Hall, as Hal, is still the party prince we know from Henry IV, returning home after a night out, and the opening scenes, as his lords and bishops discuss his rights to the throne of France, takes place while they assist him to dress and wake up.
As the play progresses, he becomes more confident, but also more vulnerable - appearing a little uneasy in his power, and st times overwhelmed.
The threats made to the 'half achieved Harfleur' speech are made via radio, setting up an interesting question as to whether, and to what extent, Henry is bluffing, as his aides appear appalled, almost on the verge of interrupting him.
The production combines the roles of the Dauphin and Katharine,(played by Heledd Gwynn), which makes for a fascinating and deeply moving slant on the final scenes, and Henry's proposal. Her scene learning English vocabulary, as she cradles the body of her lover, one of the prisoners killed on Henry's order, is extraordinary.
It's a very good production, (and it was good to see women playing Exeter, Monyjoy, Bardolph and the Chorus, as well as the Dauphin)
The play is at the Ustinov until 21st July.Photos of the show, and tour dates here