Sister leads a band of brothers at The Wheatsheaf

A woman is impressing audiences with her performance of a male monarch upstairs in a mock-Tudor pub in Fitzrovia. Not only is she playing a king, but all the other parts, too.

Eleanor Dillion-Reams on stage.

Into the breach. Eleanor Dillon-Reams takes on the role of Henry V and everyone else in a mock Tudor pub.

Based on “The Life and Times of Henry the Fifth” by William Shakespeare, “Henry V — Lion of England” strips back the famous and lengthy stage play into 75 minutes with one actor, and very few theatrical devices.

Nick Hennegan of The Maverick Theatre Company wrote the script 21 years ago and it has been played many times since including a stint at the Edinburgh Festival.

Directed by Katie Merritt, with music by Robb Williams, and managed by Christina Nunes, the version of the play currently on show at the Wheatsheaf Pub in Rathbone Place is the first time that a woman has taken on the acting role.

Eleanor Dillon-Reams plays all 12 characters with a big heavy sword, shield, and metal breast plate, in a fast-paced and thrilling performance.

“I am incredibly proud to be working with both a female director and female stage manager for this production, and hope that by having a female Henry V it will provoke audiences to question their own expectations of both gender and leadership,” she says.

“Henry V — Lion of England” continues Upstairs at The Wheatsheaf Pub, 25 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 1JB until Saturday 20 June 2015. More details and to book tickets see henryvplay.com.

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