Tag: 2 Henry VI

  • Henry VI: Rebellion (RSC) @ The Royal Shakespeare Theatre

    Henry VI: Rebellion (RSC) @ The Royal Shakespeare Theatre

    The unique problem facing any stand-alone production of Henry VI, Part 2 is the suspended ending. Other plays that are part of a sequence – 3 Henry VI, 1 Henry IV, for instance – still manage to reach a point of conclusion or at least pause; 2 Henry VI, by contrast, spends its running time setting up the board for […]

  • Henry VI (Shakespeare’s Globe) @ The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

    Henry VI (Shakespeare’s Globe) @ The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

    NB: This review is based on a preview performance. Henry VI, the fifth entry in the Globe’s 2019 Histories Cycle, was a production of compromises, if not a compromised production. Reuniting the ensemble that performed 1 Henry IV, 2 Henry IV and Henry V over the summer (with a couple of replacement members), the decision to compress the three parts […]

  • Queen Margaret @ The Royal Exchange, Manchester

    Queen Margaret @ The Royal Exchange, Manchester

    The idea of rewriting Shakespeare’s first tetralogy to focus on the character of Queen Margaret – the only character to appear alive in all four plays – is a good one, though not original; Charlene Smith’s research has found some twenty-six, with more doubtless to be turned up. Still, it’s rare for one to come […]

  • The Wars of the Roses (RSC) (film)

    The Wars of the Roses (RSC) (film)

    The Wars of the Roses is one of those iconic productions – like Peter Brook’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream – that I never expected to get a chance to watch in full. Peter Hall and John Barton’s three-part condensation of the first tetralogy of history plays was one of the resounding triumphs of the young Royal Shakespeare Company. […]

  • The Hollow Crown: Henry VI Part 1 (BBC) (film)

    The Hollow Crown: Henry VI Part 1 (BBC) (film)

    Given the relative monarchism and conservatism that often marks the BBC’s Shakespeare adaptations, it’s quite something to hear the new Hollow Crown beginning with Judi Dench in voiceover intoning choice excerpts of Ulysses’ famous ‘degree’ speech from Troilus and Cressida. With a slight pause before them, the words “Take but degree away, and mark what discord follows”’ hang […]

  • Kings of War (Toneelgroep Amsterdam) @ The Barbican Theatre

    Kings of War (Toneelgroep Amsterdam) @ The Barbican Theatre

    In 2009 I was lucky enough to see Toneelgroep Amsterdam perform Ivo van Hove’s Roman Tragedies at the Barbican. That mammoth reworking of Coriolanus, Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra remains one of my lifetime theatrical highlights – not just for its length and ambition, but for its cohesive use of space, its innovative flexibility around the actor-audience arrangement, and its thorough […]

  • An Age of Kings (BBC) (film)

    An Age of Kings (BBC) (film)

    In 1960, the BBC undertook an extraordinary project. Shakespeare’s eight history plays covering the reigns of Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI, Edward IV, Edward V and Richard III were broadcast in fifteen hour-long episodes with a single ensemble company. Rehearsed quickly and recorded live, the films have been unavailable commercially until now, […]

  • Henry VI: The Houses of York and Lancaster (Shakespeare’s Globe) @ York Theatre Royal

    Henry VI: The Houses of York and Lancaster (Shakespeare’s Globe) @ York Theatre Royal

    Having only ever seen one live production of 2 Henry VI, I’d forgotten quite how much happens in this play. Even with the Simpcox scenes cut, the Globe’s production still fell neatly into four miniature plays: the tragedy of Eleanor of Gloucester, the downfall and death of Humphrey and Beaufort, the rebellion of Jack Cade and the […]

  • Henry VI, Part 2 (RSC) @ The Courtyard Theatre: highlights

    With a quick note that the excitement really started as soon as I sat down and remembered that this was my absolute favourite part of the Histories Cycle, I’ll leap straight into my highlights: The entire sequence from the death of Geoffrey Freshwater’s Winchester to that of Geoffrey Streatfeild’s Suffolk was a theatrical coup. In vengeance, Richard Cordery as the ghost […]

  • Henry VI, Part 2 (RSC) @ The Courtyard Theatre

    I have to admit, this is my favourite part of the trilogy, and so the chance to see ‘2 Henry VI’ by itself today was one I was enormously looking forward to, especially as I again had a front row seat. And, once again, it didn’t disappoint. The ‘Henry VI’ trilogy are in contention for […]