Following his production of Richard II in October 2013, RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran continues his exploration of Shakespeare’s history plays with Henry IV Parts I and II, an epic, comic and thrilling vision of a nation in turmoil.
RSC Associate Artist Antony Sher returns to the Company to play the infamous comic knight Falstaff. He is joined by Jasper Britton as Henry IV and Alex Hassell as Prince Hal. Jasper returns following his performance as the Marquis de Sade in Marat/Sade (2011); Alex returns to the RSC following his recent credits in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cardenio and The City Madam.
King Henry’s health is failing as a second rebellion threatens to surface. Intent on securing his legacy, he is uncertain that Hal is a worthy heir, believing him to be more concerned with earthly pleasures than with the responsibility of rule. Meanwhile, Falstaff is sent to the countryside to recruit fresh troops. Among the unwitting locals, opportunities for embezzlement and profiteering prove impossible to resist as Falstaff gleefully indulges in the business of lining his own pockets. As the King’s health continues to worsen, Hal must choose between duty and loyalty to an old friend in Shakespeare’s heartbreaking conclusion to this pair of plays.
RSC Live: Henry IV Part I is screened on Wed 14 May 6.45pm.