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The VUWSA Victoria University Shakespeare Club
in association with The Bacchanals present

Henry the Sixth, Part One

Every saga has a beginning. Every journey has a first step.
Every great trilogy has a weird prequel.

7pm Monday 12–Wednesday 14 October 2009
Union Hall, Student Union Building
Mount Street, Victoria University of Wellington
Tickets: $10
Book at

The epic battle between good and evil begins again only this time without the racist aliens and camp robots. You thought they were beaten at Agincourt, but now the French empire looks ready to strike back! Ever wondered what would happen if Joan or Arc was given Sith powers and waged war against The valiant Johh Talbot, England’s greatest Jedi? Come along and find out…

This is the first installment of the action-packed trilogy The Wars of the Roses, set to be staged over the next two years, the prequel to Henry VI: Parts Two and Three and Richard III… coming soon!

Multi-award-winning winning company The Bacchanals have joined with the newly formed Victoria University of Wellington Shakespeare Club to produce this exciting production as part of NZ’s Compleate Workes year. The large cast includes Bacchanals stalwarts, Alex Greig and Salesi Le’ota, internationally trained fight-choreographer, Allan Henry and is directed by David Lawrence.

VUWSACompleate Works logo updated smallerHigher-res_logo


Remember that first meeting all those weeks ago, when asked what we thought of the play, I announced that it was “pretty sweet” and then proceeded to explain myself by saying the equivalent of “Oh.. Talbot’s pretty cool.”? Well now after weeks of thinking about how I would answer that question not sounding like a giant idiot (this is what I spend about 50% of my life doing) I have come up with another idiotic summary of why Henry VI Part One is “Pretty sweet.”

I will begin with what I look for in a Star Trek film and then I will begin to make sense. My favourite Star Trek films are the ones that feature grand shows of heroism, usually the death of an important character and are so fast paced that almost every scene takes place at an entirely new location (generally with the Enterprise being the mainstay location, to be referred back to every so often, just like the English court in Henry VI). I could use either The Search for Spock or Generations as examples here but I will use Generations as it is fresher in my mind and the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation is so much cooler than the cast of the original series. Basically, Henry VI plays out like a good Star Trek film. A lot of adventure, a dash of politics and a whole lot of interesting characters. Allow me to compare. And since I’m on the internet, I’ll say;


Henry VI Part One Star Trek: Generations
The funeral of Henry V, Gloucester and Exeter are present, as is Richard Plantagenet who later becomes the central villain. The [supposed] death of Captain Kirk during the christening of the new Starship Enterprise. Scotty and Pavel Chekov are present as is Dr. Tolian Soran who later becomes the central villain.
At some point, Talbot, the fiercest warrior in the English army is promoted to Earl of Shrewsbury. At some point, Worf, possibly the fiercest warrior (being that he is now the most highly ranked Klingon in Starfleet) in the film is promoted to Lieutenant Corporal.
The French acquire Joan of Arc, capable of destroying a Talbot. A group of Klingons acquire a new weapon, capable of destroying a star.
Talbot becomes trapped inside the Countess of Auvergne’s castle but quickly and easily breaks out. Picard (played by Patrick Stewart and who is constantly quoting Shakespeare, even quoting the first part of the Contention at one point) becomes trapped inside ‘The Nexus’ but quickly and easily breaks out.
Talbot dies losing France due to the actions of Richard Plantagenet. About 50 lines earlier he had a son who died heroically. It turns out Kirk isn’t really dead, but he dies stopping a star (and its surrounding planets) from being destroyed by Dr. Tolian Soran. About five films earlier, he had a son who died heroically.

There, now I feel like I’m in Oyster (Amirite? Eh?) and have posted what may be the most non-Star Wars related Henry VI comparison to a piece of Science Fiction so far.

Henry VI, in court
“We charge you, on allegiance to ourself,
To hold your slaughtering hands and keep the peace.”

Captain Picard, on the bridge
“Rumours of my assimilation have been greatly exaggerated.”

What a nerd.

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