Geoffrey Kent is a busy guy. He’s playing Don Pedro in this summer’s Colorado Shakespeare Festival production of Much Ado About Nothing, and he’s doing a couple of roles in Henry V. And Talbot in Henry VI, Part One. He’s also the fight director for all these shows, making sure feats of swordplay aren’t marred by actual stabbings. And starting Friday, he’ll be portraying Iago in Othello. The pace of summer repertory theater is blistering, one of the best workouts a theater person can get.
News about Geoffrey’s fight directing.
As the arrogant and blustering French Doctor Caius, Geoffrey Kent is a comedic highlight, delivering lines in an overstated accent worthy of Monty Python and drawing on his full range of skills as CSF’s resident fight coordinator during a duel featuring golf clubs and a bible.
“It’s magic, it’s the art of misdirection,” says Kent, president of the Society of American Fight Directors. “I’ve got to chop a hand off in plain sight. The audience knows I didn’t really do it — but for one split second they have to believe it.”
The sword fight that ends with Mercutio’s death has satisfyingly theatrical fury and flash.
“Theater can be entertaining, surprising, and even gut-wrenching—but to be successful, all performances have to be believable. Meet Geoffrey Kent, one of the Denver Center Theatre Company’s primary fight directors, who orchestrates the swordplay and gun battles onstage.”
Geoffrey Kent is sitting in a quiet Boulder restaurant making a face as he recounts a fall he took during the Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s production of the ridiculously pleasurable farce “Noises Off.” Don’t fret. It was a planned fall… sort of…
Weitz and Benaiah Anderson (fine turns as both Israel Hands and Black Dog) provide sparks in the evening’s first sword fight set in the Hawkins’ inn.
The smell of dust flying up during the numerous gorgeously staged Geoffrey Kent swordfights harks back to schoolyard tussles and beyond, to something primal and deadly and murderous in our very core.
On Monday Kent will be honored by the Colorado Theatre Guild with a Henry Award for “Outstanding Fight Direction” during CTG’s annual awards ceremony in Denver. Kent is fight director for this summer’s Colorado Shakespeare Festival, including the production of “Romeo and Juliet,” in which he plays Mercutio.”
Geoffrey Kent’s Mercutio is juicy, funny and energetic. His rendition of the Queen Mab speech is superb — a textbook example of how to vivify a monologue everyone has heard a thousand times before — as is the way he handles Mercutio’s death with progressively weakening bursts of rage and frustration rather than the usual gallant attempt at humor.