Henry IV Pt 1.
Last Leaf’s production of Henry IV Pt 1, opened at the Seattle Outdoor Theatre Festival in Volunteer Park on Sat. July 9th. Without sacrificing the essential plot or the comedic scenes, it was blessedly short; only one hour.
Two intertwining plots keep the action going; one involves the intrigue and betrayal preceding the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403 during the reign of King Henry IV. Considered the first Lancastrian of the House of Plantagenet, he had previously usurped the throne from his cousin Richard II, with the help of a clan of nobles united by marriage and blood, the Percys of Northumberland, the Welshman Owen Glendown, and their kinsmen Mortimer and Worcester. However, the King alienates his comrades, who then plot a rebellion with the help of the Scottish nobles.
Meanwhile, the Prince of Wales, also named Henry or Hal, spends his time carousing among the low-life of London with Sir John Falstaff, a decadent but fun-filled disreputable knight given to wining, whoring and occasional thieving. Shakespeare also introduces a coming of age plot, as Hal gives up his adolescent pleasures, dons the mantle of warrior and saves the kingdom from rebellion by defeating the leader of the rebels, young Henry “Hotspur” Percy. Hal eventually becomes the great Henry V, the great victor of Agincourt.
The play was easy to follow, with reasonable performances from the cast, and plenty of comic relief, it is a good introduction to Shakespeare, as it brevity does not make it tedious for the un-initiated. The free show travels aroundparks in King and Snohomish Counties. Take the kids!
Henry IV Pt1 by William Shakespeare. Last Leaf Production. For a comprehensive Schedule: see http://www.lastleaf99.org/shakespeare