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Triumphes and Mirth (1997)

Triumphes and Mirth

Extracts from Henry V and The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare, performed at the royal opening of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, London: 12 June 1997.

The production was subsequently broadcast as Henry V at the Globe on 15 June 1997, at 8pm on Channel 4.

Cast of Henry V


Chorus ... ZoŽ Wanamaker
King Charles VI of France ... William Russell
Isabel, his wife and queen ... Christian Camargo
Louis, the Dauphin, their son ... Christian Camargo
Katherine, their daughter ... Toby Cockerell
Charles Delabreth, the Constable of France ... Steven Skybell
Duke of Orleans ... Rory Edwards
Lord Rambures ... Craig Pinder
Duke of Burgundy ... Rory Edwards
Montjoy, the French Herald ... Ben Walden
The Governor of Harfleur ... John McEnery
Monsieur Le Fer, a French Soldier ... David Fielder
Alice, an old gentlewoman ... Ben Walden
Archbishop of Canterbury ... John McEnery
Bishop of Ely ... William Russell
King Henry ('Harry') V of England ... Mark Rylance
Duke of Gloucester, his brother ... David Lear
Duke of Bedford, his brother ... Nick Fletcher
Duke of Exeter, his uncle ... Matthew Scurfield
Earl of Westmorland, his cousin ... Bill Stewart
Sir Thomas Erpingham ... William Russell
Richard, Earl of Cambridge ... Craig Pinder
Henry, Lord Scroop of Masham ... Steven Skybell
Sir Thomas Grey ... Christian Camargo
Gower, an Englishman ... Vincent Brimble
Fluellen, a Welshman ... David Fielder
Macmorris, and Irishman ... Craig Pinder
Jamy, a Scot ... Nick Fletcher
John Bates ... Steven Skybell
Alexander Court ... Craig Pinder
Michael Williams ... Rory Edwards
Pistol ... John McEnery
Nym ... Bill Stewart
Bardolph ... Ben Walden
Boy ... Toby Cockerell
Mistress Quickly ... Vincent Brimble

Other parts were played by members of the company.

The Musicians of the Globe: Adrian Woodward (trumpet/cornett), Paul Sharp (trumpet/cornett), Abigail Newman (sackbut/trumpet), Keith McGowan (trumpet/curtal), Michael Gregory (percussion), Nicholas Janni (drums)


Director: Richard Olivier
Designer: Jenny Tiramani
Musical Director: Philip Pickett
Executive Producer: Greg Ripley-Duggan
Production Manager: Richard Howey
Company Stage Manager: Monica McCabe
Stage Managers: Rosalind Morgan-Jones and Jack Morrison
Company Voice Work: Jeannette Nelson, David Willis, and Alan Woodhouse
Company Movement Work: Sue Lefton, Wendy Alnutt, Trish Arnold, Glynn MacDonald, and Jackie Matthews


At the royal opening of the reconstructed Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, with the Queen and Prince Philip in attendance, ZoŽ was the first person to speak on the stage.  She performed as the Chorus, whose Prologue to Henry V (also known as The Life of Henry V) invites the audience to unleash its imagination on the play, helping the actors to bring the action to life. 

O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
Assume the port of Mars and at his heels,        
Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword and fire
Crouch for employment. But pardon, and gentles all,
The flat unraised spirits that have dared
On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
So great an object: can this cockpit hold       
The vasty fields of France? or may we cram
Within this wooden O the very casques
That did affright the air at Agincourt?
O, pardon! since a crooked figure may
Attest in little place a million;
And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,
On your imaginary forces work.
Suppose within the girdle of these walls
Are now confined two mighty monarchies,
Whose high upreared and abutting fronts
The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder:
Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts;
Into a thousand parts divide one man,
And make imaginary puissance;
Think when we talk of horses, that you see them
Printing their proud hoofs i' the receiving earth;
For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
Carry them here and there; jumping o'er times,
Turning the accomplishment of many years
Into an hour-glass: for the which supply,
Admit me Chorus to this history;
Who prologue-like your humble patience pray,
Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.

The speech was given as part of a special performance called (in Shakespearean English) Triumphes and Mirth, consisting of extracts from both Henry V and The Winter's Tale.  The production was staged in a traditional manner, in order effectively to replicate the experience of theatregoing in Shakespeare's day. 

The enormous project to reconstruct the Globe was the vision of ZoŽ's father, the actor and director Sam Wanamaker CBE.  He devoted twenty-five years of his life to creating a faithful replica of Shakespeare's theatre on London's Bankside, with the assistance of architect Theo Crosby and many other supporters.

During his first trip to London, in 1949, Sam Wanamaker had visited the site of the original Globe.  He was shocked to discover that only a plaque on a brewery wall commemorated the theatre associated with our greatest playwright.  From then on, he was determined to produce a more fitting tribute to Shakespeare, overcoming numerous challenges in the process, not least raising the millions of pounds required to fund the building work.

Interviewed a few years before the royal opening, ZoŽ gave insight into the importance of Shakespeare's Globe to her father: 'It was Shakespeare that drew him to acting; his first performances were in Shakespeare's plays; and it was precisely because of his background that he understood the significance to the entire English-speaking world of presenting those plays in the place for which they were originally intended'.

Sadly, Sam Wanamaker died in 1993, before the Globe was completed.  ZoŽ's appearance in Triumphes and Mirth honoured his memory.  The photo above, taken in the late 1990s, shows her at the theatre, standing by a bust of her father.

As ZoŽ explained shortly after Triumphes and Mirth, her father had wanted Henry V's Prologue to be spoken on the stage because it 'encompasses everything he felt about the power of imagination' (see 'One Man's Will' article).

Early on the morning of the royal opening, ZoŽ rehearsed the Prologue at the Globe.  As she finished speaking, the sun rose over the theatre and the security guards, who were preparing for the Queen and Prince Philip's visit, applauded.  'It was the most moving moment I've ever had in my life.  It was phenomenal.  It was like my father was there.  That's how it felt.  I found it very, very emotional,' she later remarked (see her 'Broadway Buzz' interview).

A full production of Henry V (though without ZoŽ as the Chorus) was also staged at the theatre in 1997 and dedicated to Sam Wanamaker and his wife, Charlotte. 

The Wanamaker family's connection with the Globe continues; on 7 May 2003, ZoŽ received a Blue Plaque dedicated to her father, voted for by the public and awarded in recognition of his tremendous efforts to recreate the Globe.  ZoŽ was photographed with the Blue Plaque, holding it proudly aloft, at the time.  On 13 June that year, she unveiled the Blue Plaque at the Globe, in the company of her father's brother, Will.

In September 2003, ZoŽ again represented her father when she talked about his vision for the Globe, on the evening of a performace of Richard II, which was broadcast live on TV.

In 2008, she returned to the theatre to unveil a plaque to commemorate the master builders of the 1599 and present day Globe, Peter Streete and Peter McCurdy respectively.

More recently, ZoŽ visited the site of the Globe Education and Rehearsal Centre, which has been designed to benefit students and community groups, in addition to actors, with initiatives to introduce people to the enjoyment of Shakespeare's works.

ZoŽ remains a Trustee of the Globe, which has received worldwide acclaim for its staging of Shakespearean plays.

Press coverage

'After Four Centuries, Shakespeare Comes to Life in His Natural Habitat' - New York Times

'One Man's Will' - Los Angeles Times

Related links

Sam Wanamaker biography - Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Sam Wanamaker biography - Wikipedia

Rebuilding the Globe - Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Sam Wanamaker and the Globe Theatre timeline - Globe-Theatre.org.uk

Blue Plaque Winners 2003 - Southwark Council (see the bottom of the webpage for Zoe's comments about her father's achievements)

History of the Globe Theatre - Icons of England

With thanks to Nadine for the photo (photographer unknown).

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