British Universities Film & Video Council

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King Henry V

Televised broadcast of John Barton’s Elizabethan Theatre Company production of the play. As producer Michael MacOwan emphasises, this production "should be thought of not so much as a television production of Henry V, but as an attempt to show on the television screen the work that is being done by a group of young actors who are trying to return to the essentials of Elizabethan playing’" (Radio Times, 15 May 1953, p. 26).
Great Britain
Transmission details
19 May 1953 at 20:45 (Channel: BBC)
97 mins


John Barton; Michael MacOwan
William Shakespeare
Art Direction
Reece Pemberton
Colin GeorgeKing Henry V
Toby RobertsonChorus
Michael DavidArchbishop of Canterbury
Bernadette SorelPrincess Katherine of France (Katherine)
Michael DavidDauphin
Clifford RoseAmbassador
Clifford RoseEarl of Salisbury
Clifford RoseGovernor of Harfleur
Clifford RoseSir Thomas Erpingham
Frank WindsorMichael Williams
Frank WindsorAncient Pistol (Pistol)
Gordon GostelowEarl of Westmoreland
Gordon GostelowFluellen
James RougheadDuke of Exeter
Jocelyne PageHostess, formerly Mistress Quickly
Jocelyne PageQueen Isabel of France (Queen Isabel)
John SouthworthKing Charles VI of France
John SouthworthMontjoy
Keith FaulknerBoy (Falstaff’s page)
Michael DavidEarl of Warwick
Peter JeffreyJamy
Peter JeffreyConstable of France
Reginald SelousLord Rambures
Reginald SelousCorporal Nym (Nim)
Roger MilnerJohn Bates
Roger MilnerEnglish Herald
Roger MilnerMacmorris
Roger MilnerFrench soldier (Le Fer)
Toby RobertsonDuke of York
Toby RobertsonGower
Toby RobertsonDuke of Burgundy
Toby RobertsonBishop of Ely
Trenor StanleyDuke of Bedford
Trenor StanleyEarl of Grandpre
Trenor StanleyDuke of Bourbon
William LawfordBardolph
William LawfordDuke of Gloucester
William LawfordDuke of Orleans
Yvonne BonnamyAlice

Additional Details

Theatre company
Elizabethan Theatre Company
Production type
Television and Radio Drama
Henry V


The introductory exhortions of the Chorus ("Into a thousand parts divide one man ...") seems to have been used as the principal motto for this production in which some actors played four or five roles.
Production cost: £ 586 (BBC Play Library)
This production was presented as the first of the Elizabethan Theatre Company’s new season at Canterbury, England.
The BBC Research Report indicates that 36% of the adult viewing public watched the broadcast, but their responses added up to a "Reaction Index" of only 52, compared with 71 for Morley’s 1951 Life of Henry V (cf. Rothwell/Melzer, p. 95). The Reaction Index is a measurement of the quality
and success of the programme with the audience who had watched it. It is based on a range of 0 to 100.)
Rothwell, Kenneth S. and Annabelle Henkin Melzer, Shakespeare on Screen: An International Filmography and Videography (London: Mansell, 1990), entry 174, p.95.

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