From Richard II through Richard III
Shakespeare's history cycle recounts the story of two great dynasties, the Red Rose of Lancaster and the White Rose of York, who contested their rights to the crown across nearly two centuries of murder, intrigue, rebellion, counter-rebellion, and bloody battle culminating at last in the Battle of Bosworth and the accession of Henry Tudor to the throne.
The great battles of Agincourt, Tewkesbury, and Bosworth; the poetry of love, the treachery of power politics, and the unease of crownèd headsin short, Shakespeare's history playsare here presented by the English Theatre Company in performances hailed for bringing to life the history as well as the plays:
"... the complete and indispensable Shakespearean event... a monumental achievement." (New York Times)
"...achieves the rare feat of making Shakespeare sound like real interchanges between real people while keeping the power and the glory of the poetry." (Newsweek)
"...models of the way the most sweepingly cinematic, bold contemporary approach to Shakespeare can be grafted to a splendidly traditional devotion to language and crystal clear story-telling." (Chicago Sunday Times)
The performers, all experienced and versatile Shakespearean actors and actresses, include: Michael Pennington (Richard II, Henry Prince of Wales, Henry V, Earl of Suffolk, Jack Cade, Duke of Buckingham);
Michael Cronin (Bolingbroke, Henry IV, MacMorris, Warwick, Stanley); Paul Brennen (Bagot, Peto, Pistol, Vernon, Cambridge, Henry VI);
Barry Stanton (Falstaff, Chorus in henry V, Richard of York);
Andrew Jarvis (Hotspur, the Dauphin of France, Richard Duke of Gloucester, Richard III)
The seven plays (the three parts of Henry VI have been turned into Henry VI, House of Lancaster and Henry VI, House of York) run approximately 21-1/2 hours.