Jude Law Nails Henry V, According to the Critics

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Jude Law is famously rather inconsistent on the big screen – his performances have both delighted and infuriated people, from Enemy at The Gates, to Contagion and Dom Hemingway. But he seems to have found his home on the West End, even if his receding hairline lends itself to the part of the English king. His performance as Henry V at the Noel Coward theatre has endeared fans, while the critics have lavished praise upon the 40-year-old actor.

Jude LawJude Law has impressed everyone with his Henry V performance

"This is one of the richest and most detailed performances of Henry V that I have ever seen," said The Telegraph's Charles Spencer in his five-star review, and he wasn’t the only critic enamoured with the Lewisham-born actor’s turn in the iconic Shakespeare play.

"Like the recent Donmar Anna Christie, it also shows Jude Law maturing with age and getting under the skin of a character. His complex portrait of a national hero-cum-war criminal is, you could say, the very antithesis of a hooray Henry,” wrote The Guardian's Michael Billington, who says Law delivers "a fine portrait of a flawed hero".

"You could argue that Law has left it not a moment too soon to tackle the part," said The Independent's Paul Taylor. "With his receding hairline and the bags under the eyes, he's looking a bit lived-in for the warrior monarch whose youthfulness is mocked by the Dauphin of France. But in his leather jerkin and distractingly tight trousers, he cuts a commanding figure and Law here vividly blends the kind of natural charisma that can rouse tired troops with a brooding spiritual uneasiness that has its affinities with Hamlet."

Jude Law Dom Hemingway premiereJude Law At The Dom Hemingway Premiere

Henry V at the Coward is part of Michael Grandage's season of five plays, which has included Privates on Parade, John Logan's new play Peter and Alice, The Cripple of Inishmaan, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Limited sets of £10 tickets were on offer, to lure new theatregoers.

"Our biggest worry was that all those £10 tickets might get snapped up by people who normally pay £57.50 thinking they've got a bargain. We want them to carry on paying £57.50 to subsidise those people who can't afford to get to the theatre,” Grandage explained to the BBC when the low-priced tickets were announced.


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