PREPARATIONS for Leeton's ambitious staging of Shakespeare's Henry V, starring Jake Speer have reached a new level of intensity with rehearsals now underway.
The production - which is also being co-directed by the Leeton NIDA graduate and former Home and Away star - will be at the Roxy Theatre over four nights from April 21.
Henry V has been moved from Mountford Park as the Roxy Thearre will still be operational in the lead up to its long-awaited upgrade and redevelopment.
Mr Speer was pleased the Roxy had become available for the play.
"There's something very special about having it in the Roxy," he said.
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"Henry V was one of the first plays Shakespeare staged in his Globe Theatre, (so) it is fitting that it will be the Roxy's very last production before being closed for refurbishment."
After a gruelling audition process, Henry V has in place cast and crew members from throughout the Riverina, including the experienced Shakespearian actor Bonnie Owen.
Ms Owen, who hails from Griffith, is also Henry V's co-director.
A veteran of Griffith's annual Shakespeare in the Park, she is also looking forward to playing Henry V's love interest, Princess of France, Katherine, during the performances.
"While it can be magical to do Shakespeare in a park setting, bringing it indoors gets rid of a lot of potential logistical problems including the weather," Ms Owen said.
Henry V was one of the first plays Shakespeare staged in his Globe Theatre, (so) it is fitting that it will be the Roxy's very last production before being closed for refurbishment.Jake Speer
Mr Speer was confident Leeton audiences would appreciate the high drama and emotion of Henry V.
He said the themes of the play, centred on the Battle of Agincourt which was fought between France and England in 1415, were still relevant.
"Power and ambition remain one of the great motivators," he said.
Rehearsals for the play are underway with plenty of hard work remaining between now and the first curtain call.
This story was produced as part of the Henry V Mentorship Program.
The writers were Phoebe Allan from St Francis College and Misae Iriomote from TAFE NSW Leeton.