Making Kenneth Branagh's


Some quotations are from Branagh's book, "Beginning", St. Martin's Press, 1989. Branagh wrote it during the editing of Henry V. Other quotes and facts are from television interviews, documentaries, print interviews and articles about Branagh. Find print articles at The Kenneth Branagh Compendium at

Part 1: The Story of Shakespeare's Henry V

Part 2: Behind the Scenes--Making Henry V

Part 3: The Director--From Front Room to Screening Room

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News Release December 26, 2006
An Updated message from Don Baggs, one of the coordinators opposing the wind turbines near the fields of Azincourt.

"'On Tuesday 20th December 2005, the senior official of S.I.I.F. Energy responsible for the project visited my home to officially announce the final withdrawal of plans to install Wind Turbines at Azincourt.

He advised the reasons for his company’s decision were twofold; firstly the close proximity of the Turbines to a very important Historic Site and secondly to preserve good relations with the English people and Associations who were against the project.

S.I.I.F. Energy also advised that M. Boulet, the Mayor of Azincourt, regretfully accepts the withdrawal of the project in his commune.' --Thierry Yverneau, owner of land nearby in Azincourt

May the next generations continue to enjoy the peace, tranquillity and serenity of this important ‘untouched’ historical site and learn more of this important era in Anglo/French/Welsh heritage at The Centre Medieval Historique in the village of Azincourt."


From The Guardian, 5 April 2004

The New Battle of Agincourt
By Frederique Roussel

The English attack at Agincourt on October 25 1415, was unrelenting.  In this little Pas-de-Calais village of 290 souls, the English archers, led by Henry V, rained arrows upon the French knights and won a decisive victory in the Hundred Years War.  Nearly six centuries after the scenes that inspired Shakespeare, a new battle is being joined in the village of present-day Azincourt.  A plan to install four 80m-high wind turbines within sight of the battlefield is causing something of a stir.

"The English were on the left, towards Maisoncelles, and were heading for Calais when they came face to face with the French.  Although exhausted and hungry, they still won through, by firing off 10 to 12 arrows a minute."  Patrick Fenet has lived a stone's throw from the battlefield for 30 years.  He has soaked up the history of the area and quotes Shakespeare in the original.  A youth worker, he even gives lessons in the longbow, the legendary weapon of the Welsh archers. He is also one of the most passionate opponents of the project.  He points an accusing finger at the virtual masts, then the high-voltage pylons that have already been spoiling the scenery since 1983.  "One transgression doesn't justify another," he blurts out.  Fenet indicates, behind him, the last resting place of 6,000 combatants who might also be up in arms about it.

The bulk of the resistance to the wind farm, however, comes from Monmouth, the Welsh town where Henry V was born.  A petition, which considers that "it would be tragic if today's planners were allowed to desecrate the area, destroy history and ruin a key part of Anglo/Welsh/French heritage", has to date collected 600 signatures, 500 of them British.  It is hoped that Kenneth Branagh, an unforgettable performer of Henry V, may be enlisted in the crusade.

It was a landowner from Azincourt who, off his own bat, decided to offer one of his fields to SIIF Energie.  A subsidiary of Electricite de France, specialising in renewable energy, SIIF offers £3,2000 per wind turbine per year, over 15 years.  It plans to put four wind turbines on this site, the closest of which is more than a kilometre from the battlefield.  The town council has recommended the planning application and the process is now taking its course.

The battlefield itself, about 5 square kilometres, has no protection or conservation designation; just a sign saying, "You are on the battlefield of Agincourt."  Eighty percent of its 32,000 annual visitors are British tourists, tramping across and trying to imagine the clash of two armies that rainy day in 1415.  "They come to breathe the air breathed by their ancestors," says Claude Delcusse, director of the medieval centre.  "They come to see by what miracle a ragged band of English crushed the French nobility."  When it comes to the English opinion on the Azincourt wind farm, his tone is less affable.  "What's it got to do with them?"

(Thanks to Catherine)

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