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Henry V (on Trapeze) takes Shakespeare to new heights

You think you know what to expect in the performance of a Shakespeare play? Burning Coal Theatre Company's Henry V (on Trapeze) will turn any preconception upside down...literally.

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Henry V (on Trapeze)
Debbie Tullos
You think you know what to expect in the performance of a Shakespeare play? Burning Coal Theatre Company’s Henry V (on Trapeze) will turn any preconception upside down…literally.
Working in collaboration with the New York City-based aerial theatre company Fight or Flight, Burning Coal lifts the classic tale of King Henry off the page and off the ground in an exciting new way.
“This production is very physical, very alive. It is done, essentially, on a bare stage, with almost no scenic elements except the five trapezes," Burning Coal’s artistic director, Jerome Davis, said. "The actors are all young people who are telling each other the story of Henry the Fifth and the Battle of Agincourt, the greatest military triumph in history, in an effort to remind each other what it was that once made their country great, and with the hope that they can go forth and make it great again. In short, it is a very timely piece.”

If you’re a fan of the Bard's work, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re not generally interested in Shakespeare, I dare say there is enough action on this vertical and horizontal stage to keep you intrigued from beginning to end. Don’t think it’s anything like the required reading in your twelfth grade English class. Shakespeare’s plays were meant to be performed! The words come alive in the hands of good actors.

Performances are at the Murphey School, 224 Polk St. in Raleigh. If you’ve never seen a play in this unique venue, there are a few things that may help you make your plans. This is a small theatre, less than 200 seats, so a hot show will sell out fast! In other words, don’t procrastinate. The seating is not assigned, so no rows and numbers. Don’t get there late or you’ll miss your pick of seats. The seating is on two levels. The floor seats and the balcony seats offer different, but equally good views. This show in particular makes balcony seating a great place to see (and possibly interact with) the actors in unexpected ways.

Check out this video trailer for the show: 

The show opens Thursday, Dec. 1, and runs through Dec. 18. For tickets, visit Burning Coal's ticket page or call 919-834-4001. Also, check the website for special ticket pricing and discounts.

Perhaps the thought of all this creativity has put you in the mood to explore your inner aerialist? If so, Fight or Flight is offering low-flying trapeze workshops this weekend. Their Saturday session filled up fast, so they’ve opened a second session this Sunday from 5-8 p.m. Call Burning Coal at 919-834-4001 if you’re interested. The workshop fee is $75 per person, first come, first served.

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