Adapted by John Bell
Director John Bell and Damien Ryan
Designer Stephen Curtis
Lighting designer Matt Scott
Composer Kelly Ryall
Featuring David Whitney, Matthew Moore, John Bell, Terry Bader, Jason Klarwein, Ben Wood, Nathan Lovejoy, Yalin Ozucelik, Felix Jozeps, Sean O’Shea, Arky Michael, Tony Llewellyn-Jones, Wendy Strehlow and Matilda Ridgeway
Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre
Until April 13
It was a sad surprise to find, from conversations around the Heath Ledger foyer, that Shakespeare’s Henry IVs have become obscure.
In its time, Henry IV Part One was a runaway hit, its first part spawning three sequels, one, Henry V, for its putative hero, Prince Hal, and two, Henry IV Part Two and The Merry Wives of Windsor, for its genius, Falstaff. Such was the enthusiasm for Falstaff that Elizabethan audiences traditionally booed the hero king on his first entry in Henry V for having banished their favourite.
Shakespeare, too, had to banish Falstaff from Henry V, because the Fat Knight was bound to steal that show as surely as he had both its predecessors.
And, true to form, John Bell’s Falstaff sidles away with this merged adaptation of the two Henry IV’s tucked securely in his capacious pickpocket’s breeches.
Link here to the complete review in The West Australian.