WATCH THIS: Jamie Parker does the St. Crispins Day speech from Henry the V.
I got to see this production a couple years ago, with one crucial difference - it was raining that night, pissing wet London weather pouring down on the real groundlings, standing in front of the stage for 3 hours, wearing slickers (I had splurged for slightly better seats, I’m nobody’s idea of a hero). When Parker came down to do that last chunk (“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers / for he who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother, be he ne’er so vile*”) he did so at the lip of the stage, uncovered … getting soaked in the rain with all the groundlings. At the risk of sounding just too corny for you to keep reading, it was why we go to the theater at all. Dig in. And Happy Birthday Shakespeare.
*I’ve probably got a couple words wrong, but before you yell at me, I did it from memory.