Henry IV

30ain Gorffennaf i 2ail Awst
Cyfarwyddwyd gan Georgina Ferry

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
— Pt 2, Act 3 Sc 1

The cares of kingship weigh heavily on Henry IV.

He came to power by seizing the throne from his predecessor Richard II, and now has his murder on his conscience. The powerful nobles that set him on the throne are about to turn against him.

And his heir, Prince Hal, spends his time with a bunch of ne'er-do-wells in the London stews, drinking and thieving. Hal's partner in crime is Shakespeare's greatest comic creation, the fat fantasist Sir John Falstaff, a charmer and con-man with no thought for anyone's good except his own.

If all the year were playing holidays,
To sport would be as tedious as to work.
— Prince Henry, Pt 1, Act 1 Sc 2

Uproarious comic set pieces, battles, and a tense father-son relationship combine in this most subtle and thoughtful of Shakespeare's history plays, as Hal matures into the Henry V who would lead England to victory at Agincourt.

The two parts of Henry IV, here presented as a single edited performance, raise questions about leadership and honour that are as valid today as ever they were.

Spectacle and live music are all part of the tradition established by the Abbey Shakespeare Players in the magical setting of St Dogmaels Abbey.

I have more flesh than another man, and therefore more frailty.
— Falstaff, Pt 2, Act III Sc 1


King Henry IVIan Wood
Earl of WestmorelandClive Burgess
Sir Walter BluntTony Shepherd
Prince HalMarcel Bruneau
Earl of WorcesterJoe Kao
Earl of WarwickTony Shepherd
Humphrey, Duke of GloucesterWill Long
Thomas, Duke of ClarenceEle Beattie
Lord Chief JusticeGwyn Morris
GowerMike Hall
Sir John FalstaffRichard Carwardine
PoinsEd Long
BardolphHenry Morris
PetoMartyn Wigley
Doll TearsheetHeledd Hart
PistolJoe Kao
Mistress QuicklyLinda Kirk
Francis, a drawerEle Beattie
SheriffAndrew Frank
FangTim Chadwick
SnareWill Long
TravellersMike Hall, Tim Chadwick
TownspeopleMembers of the cast, Ann Shepherd, Ann Christys
Earl of NorthumberlandCharlie Guest
Lady NorthumberlandJane Morris
HotspurWill Long
Lady PercyKathryn Daw
TraversTim Chadwick
Hotspur's servantTim Chadwick
RumourAndrew Frank
LordAndrew Frank
MortimerEd Long
Lady MortimerAnnie Sheen
Owen GlendowerGwyn Morris
Earl of DouglasHenry Morris
MessengerTim Chadwick
Justice ShalllowAndrew Frank
Justice SilenceRichard Morris
DavyTim Chadwick
MouldyMike Hall
WartTim Chadwick
BullcalfEd Long
FeebleKathryn Daw
ShadowAnn Christys


DirectorGeorgina Ferry
Assistant DirectorNatasha Nixon
ComposerRichard Morris
Musical AssociateHenry Ward
Lighting and TechnicalDavid Long
Fight ArrangerEd Long
WardrobeStephanie Ross, Jane Kipling
PropertiesPenny Miltiadou
PosterGeorgina Ferry
WebsiteEd Long
Front of HouseVanora Clowes, Jane Hall, Janet Paynter, Geoff & Trish Walker
RefreshmentsThe Coach House/Yr Cartwys
Local SupportMike and Jane Hall
SetRobert Fitzmartin and Henry VIII


TrumpetKevin Shanklin
ClarinetAnn Macleod
TubaAlistair Aitchison
KeyboardAndrew Wilsher
ViolaBeatrice Munby
VioloncelloBob Dent, Katie Macleod
PercussionClare Aitchison, Ann Christys, Henry Ward, Richard Morris
SingersThe Company