It is great to see another film short from the North England based collective Chicken Shop Shakespeare, with Henry V‘s “Crispin day” speech getting the group’s distinctive treatment. This short marks the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt. It will be especially interesting to watch out for Chicken Shop Shakespeare this year to see how they mark another anniversary – Shakespeare400.
The Henry V short features Lladel Bryant, who delivers Henry’s call to arms on his way to a football match (the video was shot at Bradford City FC). Director Tyron Maynar makes good use of a hand-held camera to provide close ups, which contribute to Chicken Shop’s cinéma vérité style. The short operates through a discourse of the real – this is an urban, contemporary Shakespeare, a Bard for and of the streets. These reality effects are a staple of Chicken Shop’s videos. They speak of the culture and demographic of the collaborators, and probably help teachers to make Shakespeare (more?) appealing to young students in the classroom. Of course, YouTube offers up earlier examples of urban or street Shakespeare such as Craig Bazan’s Hamlet on the Street from 2007.
Recalling this video raises the question as to what Chicken Shop’s next move might be in 2016 – perhaps a new style or theme, one that addresses Shakespeare as something increasingly experienced through digital culture? Either way, hopefully we’ll be provided with more slices of Shakespeare from Chicken Shop this year.
For further information see Chicken Shop Shakespeare