British actor Jude Law has won a round of rave reviews from theatre critics for his portrayal of William Shakespeare's tragic king Henry V.
The Sherlock Holmes star plays the title role in a revival of the Bard's classic work which opened at London's Noel Coward theatre on Tuesday night (03Dec13).
Law, who has previously starred in Hamlet both in the West End and on Broadway, has won over critics with his latest stage outing, landing a five-star review from Charles Spencer of Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, who called the actor's turn a "terrific star performance".
He adds, "Jude Law, relatively short of stature and with a receding hairline, initially looks an unlikely hero, but this is one of the richest and most detailed performances of Henry V that I have ever seen... You leave the theatre in no doubt that you have witnessed a production of rare distinction and dramatic depth."
Quentin Letts of the Daily Mail, writes, "(Henry V) is a 'big ask', as rugby coaches say, and Jude Law answers it. He is fit enough physically to wear period battledress without looking silly. He glowers beautifully, even if he resembles a slimmed down Phil Collins...
Henry V is not the Bard's greatest play... Yet under Mr (Michael) Grandage's assured direction and with Mr Law's magnetism, this show has a puissance of its own."
Michael Billington of The Guardian concludes, "Law's complex portrait of Shakespeare's contradictory king... is far and away the most fascinating aspect of an efficient, well-managed production... Law, sturdily built and with receding hairline, looks more mature than many Henries. That helps to explain the purposeful gravity he brings to the opening scenes."
He also call hails the actor's performance as "richly layered" and insists it "shows Jude Law maturing with age and getting under the skin of a character."