Review: Henry IV Part I
- Credit: Archant
Kings are used to being centre stage but Shakespeare's Henry IV never really gets that chance – and this RSC production of Part I of the Bard's epic tale doesn't upset that.
As is the trend Falstaff instead takes focus, on this occasion played by Anthony Sher. He takes the route of the charming old soak, at times so convincingly that his gargling marrs his words. This is a portly Falstaff that is meant to be liked; with a sack-filled rather than dark underbelly.
Alex Hassell is a dashing Prince Hal. He inhabits the dual role masterfully, slipping convincingly between the vice of Eastcheap and the valour of the battlefield.
As his rival Hotspur, Trevor White is unrelenting in his performance but Gregory Doran's direction has him as impetuous and bratty rather than an (unflattering) mirror to Hal, wasting a key dynamic of the piece.
And the king? Jasper Britton is solid in the titular part, hinting at an undercurrent of uncertainty and guilt in his otherwise resolute actions to save his stolen crown.
You may also want to watch:
This is a crowd-pleasing production that takes few risks: the audacity is in performing both – lengthy – parts of the tale back to back, and that is an impressive feat.
- 1 Escape to the Country names 'north Norfolk's seaside capital'
- 2 Anger as woodland used as 'playground and dustbin'
- 3 Pretty thatched cafe business on Broads for sale for £75,000
- 4 Giant Victorian underground reservoir marks supplying city for 150 years
- 5 Report into woman's murder by jealous ex: 'Employers must do more'
- 6 Homes plan to be revealed for former infant school
- 7 First look at five new homes released for sale at popular site in Taverham
- 8 Former village pub for sale as home
- 9 The areas where Covid rates have fallen the fastest since lockdown began
- 10 Norwich City star tipped to reject move to Tottenham
Henry IV continues at the Theatre Royal Norwich until Saturday. Part I will be performed on Thursday and Saturday afternoons and Friday evening; Part II on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday evening.