Henry V opens with a burst of energy at a nightclub with a worse for wear party prince. It's a scene lifted from Henry IV part 2 and is an important reminder of Henry V's past and subsequent transformation into a serious king.
It is a great scene-setter for this modern-dress production and a performance of Henry that leaves the lines blurred between heroic and ruthless leader.
One of the first things we see the new king decide is whether to go to war with France. His claim to the French throne is explained by a Bishop, with the help of a family tree projected on the stage's back wall.
There is a satirical note in the way the hereditary links are drawn. However, it is Kit Harington's controlled switch in tone when addressing the French ambassador after being insulted, which is the first glimpse of Henry's character as king.
He is angry but sparing, there is no chewing the scenery, and yet it magnifies his power and presence even when he isn't on stage.
His divine status is emphasised subtly in choral and operatic pieces sung by members of the cast. The music serves as a reminder of the role the church plays in driving Henry to war with France as well as lending a tragic tone to the story.