Inspired by the Donmar Warehouse’s all-female Shakespeare trilogy this winning, although occasionally rather dry, new play from former Fringe First winners Mulberry Theatre Company is a nifty concept that’s enough to give Tommy Robinson an embolism.
Cry God for Harry, England and St George, theSpace @ Surgeon’s Hall (Venue 53) ***
Putting on an all-female production of Henry V cast entirely with East London Asian teenagers is conceptually ambitious enough but further complicated by the letter which was widely circulated in the spring of this year designating 3 April – the date of their premiere – “Punish a Muslim Day”.
The young cast from Mulberry School for Girls do very well presenting seven very distinct personalities but their concerns and conflicts – while clearly expressed – suffer somewhat from being subtext presented as text. This is more like a cultural conversation rather than real drama.
While, at times, this does resemble an after-schools special about cultural assimilation and Islamophobia, the inventive direction by Sam Maynard and the girls’ breezy performances help command the attention. It is really no spoiler to say that this does end much as you would expect – stirringly – but it also benefits from letting the cast add their own joyful grace notes.
• Until 11 August, 4:35pm