Henry IV part 1 has the honour of being the first Shakespeare play I ever saw on stage. It was my O-level set text (showing my age) and we trooped down to 'that London' from rural East Midlands to see it. The only thing I can remember is that the period of the costumes kept changing which I found confusing as, from up in the gods, dress was the main way I was keeping tabs on who was who.
No such confusion in the RSC's production. The attire of the cheeky, charming and good-hearted Prince Hal (a rather easy on the eye Alex Hassell) perfectly mirrors his journey as a character. Beginning in just underwear, having enjoyed the pleasures of the night, before dressing in casual attire to hang out with the lads before moving on to battle-ready and responsible heir apparent.
And, as gracious and well-intentioned as Prince Hal is then Antony Sher's corpulent Falstaff is comically roguish. It is his picture on the poster, almost deservedly so, although Hassell does a pretty good job of making his presence felt and it is the ensemble scenes which really do steal the show.