The advantage of adapting the two parts of Shakespeare’s Henry IV into a single play is that Part II is an immediate sequel, so really all we had to do was condense the world into two hours. The mix of comedy and action is unique to this particular play and I think it sets the world off nicely. The theme which runs throughout the show is expectation, and I think Shakespeare has done a marvelous job of showing three sides of the coin. King Henry IV is breaking under the weight of a crown he never really wanted, watching his alliances crumble as he struggles to keep his promises intact. His son, Hal, thrust into the spotlight as heir to the crown, deliberately destroys his own image to soften the expectations he faces. And an old knight, Falstaff, far from his glory days with Henry’s father shows the burdens of a life trapped in low expectations. This isn’t a play about rising above. This is a play about coping under enormous pressure, and not always succeeding.
Director's Notes: Henry IV
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