While tripping lightly through Carol Lawson’s “Broadway” column one morning in early April, I came upon the news that Henry V is a jingoistic play. That’s what it said: that Joseph Papp had changed his plans for this year’s New York Shakespeare Festival and Kevin Kline was going to play Richard III in Central Park this summer instead of Henry V because:

[the] director, Jane Howell, who is British, does not like Henry V. “She feels it is a jingoistic play, and since Britain was recently involved in Falklands, it is an anathema to her at this time,” Mr. Papp explains.

Being one of those who find merriment hard to come by at breakfast, I was grateful to Jane Howell. Still, it seemed a shame. Richard III is great fun, but Henry V is an awfully good play, arguably a much better play than Richard III. And Henry V is rarely ever...


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