Blondell Directs Two Unique Productions of ‘Henry VI’

Lit Moon's "Henry VI "

Lit Moon’s “Henry VI “

Westmont hosts two performances of Shakespeare’s early history play, “Henry VI,” on the same day, in the same space, directed by the same director in two different languages. “Henry VI, Part 3 Times 2,” featuring the Lit Moon Theatre Company and the Bitola National Theatre, is Sunday, Nov. 17, at 2 and 7 p.m. respectively; both in Porter Theatre. General admission tickets to Lit Moon’s production are $15; $10 for students and seniors. Tickets for the Bitola National Theatre production are free, though reservations are recommended. Tickets can be reserved online at  westmont.edu/tickets and picked up at the door.

The project is the culmination of director John Blondell’s more than two-year odyssey with the play that began as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad at Shakespeare’s Globe. The Bitola National Theatre participated in the Globe to Globe Festival, which presented all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays in 37 different languages. In anticipation of the Bitola production, Blondell and Lit Moon Theatre Company staged the play in February 2012 in Santa Barbara.

Blondell says the endeavor will come full circle with Lit Moon and Bitola showing varying versions of “Henry VI” back to back.

“The play presents events in the Wars of the Roses, a dynastic and Civil War that took place in England from 1450 to 1485,” Blondell says. “Both productions show the virtues of a wild, eccentric and vividly drawn play — both are something of a thrill ride, and both display the strengths of each company to a high degree. They are also very different — although they share the same essential DNA, they feel different and display varying approaches to character, situation, music and atmosphere.”