Bruce Miller on "Henry IV, Part 1"
Here's an excerpt:
Word on the street is that Henry IV, Part 1 may be Richmond Shakespeare Theatre’s best effort to date. I know plenty of theatre lovers who would fight for their own favorite, but it's good to see that this new entry is so clearly joined in the competition.
I’m ashamed to say I haven’t seen enough RST productions to assert which one may or may not be the best of all. But I can say this. Henry IV offers pleasures to spare, and if other productions have been better, then they must have been pretty sensational.
I love seeing theatre at Agecroft. I loved Henry IV, Part 1.
The sterling reviews are all very nice, and all the patting is certainly helping my back spasms. But the houses are still pretty small for this very special show. Of course, most of the people reading this silly blog have already seen the show, or are, you know, in it.
I also want to put in a few words here in acknowledgement of Henry's Master of Play, James Alexander Bond, and Master of Verse, Joanne Zipay. These are two fantastic artists, and their work on this show has been nothing short of amazing. This play has a lot of strong characters elbowing each other for your attention, and we certainly have a double handful of big acting personalities playing them. It takes a deft hand and a clear vision to mold such strong performances into a focused story. Much of the best directing (and design, and, frankly, acting), in my experience becomes transparent in the process of getting the story across. The direction of Henry IV, Part 1 is like that.
Here's what's exciting: this is just the beginning. The Richard II production process has already begun, and we've got some very exciting plans for the rest of the History Cycle.