Reviews

A Smooth and All-Able Pen

Many of the pleasures of seeing a complete Henriad are expected.  We witness the full transformation of the bawdy Prince Hal (Alex Hassell), in whom his father once saw “riot and dishonour stain the brow,” into King Henry V, capable of such rousing rhetoric as the St. Crispian’s Day Speech.  We watch old Jack Falstaff, the endlessly charismatic […]

Read more
Reviews

Presume Not That I Am the Thing I Was

Rumour (Antony Byrne), a force responsible for “Stuffing the ears of men with false reports,” enters to address the audience.  He means to “noise abroad that Harry Monmouth fell / Under the wrath of noble Hotspur’s sword.”  Typically “painted full of tongues,” this Rumour bears a t-shirt with Rolling Stones logo, a clever if somewhat irrelevant touch.  Henry […]

Read more
Reviews

I’ll Play My Father

Henry IV (an appropriately weary Jasper Britton), who had planned to alleviate his guilt over the death of Richard II with a voyage to Jerusalem (“I’ll make a voyage to the Holy Land, / To wash this blood off from my guilty hand”), soon finds his kingdom internally divided: unrest in Scotland and Wales, rebellion from […]

Read more
Reviews

The Landlord of England

A coffin rests center stage.  In Shakespeare’s text, Richard II begins with the eponymous king (David Tennant) sitting upon his throne and arbitrating a dispute between Henry Bolingbroke (Jasper Britton) and Thomas Mowbray (Christopher Middleton), the former accusing the latter of participating in the successful assassination of the Duke of Gloucester, the king’s uncle.  However, in […]

Read more
Reviews

Private Fears in Private Places

Towards the end of Arrivals & Departures, Alan Ayckbourn’s seventy-seventh play (the author is seventy-five), the military handler Ez (Elizabeth Boag) tells Barry (Kim Wall), the man she is handling, that they have nothing in common.  “We’ll never know now, will we?” Barry asks, a line that epitomizes Mr. Ayckbourn’s central concern.  In the main action of Arrivals […]

Read more