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 IV||Ian Wood|
|Earl of Westmoreland||Clive Burgess|
|Sir Walter Blunt||Tony Shepherd|
|Prince Hal||Marcel Bruneau|
|Earl of Worcester||Joe Kao|
|Earl of Warwick||Tony Shepherd|
|Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester||Will Long|
|Thomas, Duke of Clarence||Ele Beattie|
|Lord Chief Justice||Gwyn Morris|
|Sir John Falstaff||Richard Carwardine|
|Doll Tearsheet||Heledd Hart|
|Mistress Quickly||Linda Kirk|
|Francis, a drawer||Ele Beattie|
|Travellers||Mike Hall, Tim Chadwick|
|Townspeople||Members of the cast, Ann Shepherd, Ann Christys|
|Earl of Northumberland||Charlie Guest|
|Lady Northumberland||Jane Morris|
|Lady Percy||Kathryn Daw|
|Hotspur's servant||Tim Chadwick|
|Lady Mortimer||Annie Sheen|
|Owen Glendower||Gwyn Morris|
|Earl of Douglas||Henry Morris|
|Justice Shalllow||Andrew Frank|
|Justice Silence||Richard Morris|
|Assistant Director||Natasha Nixon|
|Musical Associate||Henry Ward|
|Lighting and Technical||David Long|
|Fight Arranger||Ed Long|
|Wardrobe||Stephanie Ross, Jane Kipling|
|Front of House||Vanora Clowes, Jane Hall, Janet Paynter, Geoff & Trish Walker|
|Refreshments||The Coach House/Yr Cartwys|
|Local Support||Mike and Jane Hall|
|Set||Robert Fitzmartin and Henry VIII|
|Violoncello||Bob Dent, Katie Macleod|
|Percussion||Clare Aitchison, Ann Christys, Henry Ward, Richard Morris|