Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 473. Tuesday, August 3, 1993.
From: Ellen Edgerton <EBEDGERT@SUADMIN>
Date: Monday, 02 Aug 1993 13:57 ET
Subject: *H5*: Mountjoy in Performance
I was wondering if anything has been written in the past 20 years or so
about the seemingly slowly expanding significance of Mountjoy the Herald
as a minor character in different productions (stage or screen) of *H5*.
It's obvious that Shakespeare had somewhat more than a perfunctory
interest in the character to start with, but I am curious about when it
became commonplace for directors to start taking lines away from other
minor French characters (Rambures, Grandpre, etc) in the play and giving
them to Mountjoy. It seems to me yet another interesting (albeit minor)
example of how the plays evolve in performance.
I have read comments by Oliver Ford-Davies who played Mountjoy in Terry
Hands' 1975 production. It was interesting how many of his comments
on the character confirmed my impression of Mountjoy as a "serious
character" actually capable of development. I definitely got this
impression from Christopher Ravenscroft's Mountjoy in Branagh's film from
15 years later (a presentation of this character which, to me, seemed to
go even beyond Ford-Davies' interpretation).
So my question is, how long has this been going on? For a long time,
or since only relatively recently? Any information would be appreciated,
not just on this character but on minor characters in any play who seem
to have received added emphasis over the years in performance.