Ten things I loved about the RSC's King and Country cycle
One ticket. Three days. Four Shakespeare history plays. I'm bleary-eyed from the late nights and have probably spent more time at the Barbican this week than I have in my own flat but I'd happily do it all over again. Richard II, Henry IV parts 1 and 2 and Henry V back to back is a journey you are rarely given the opportunity to travel and I'm still buzzing from the thrill of it.
Here are ten of my highlights:
- Seeing David Tennant as Richard II, again and it being even better than first time around.
- The long, lingering kiss between Richard and Aumerle (Sam Marks) that spoke a thousand words.
- Hearing Antony Sher's Falstaff calling for Poins during the Gads Hill robbery scene in Henry IV part 1 (again). Still brilliantly excecuted and brilliantly funny. I want his "Poins. Poins. Poins." for my own nerdy (and annoying) ring tone.
- Watching Alex Hassell go on the complete journey from party Prince Hal to Agincourt victorious Henry V in just over 24 hours.
- Likewise Jasper Britton's journey from Bolingbroke the king usurper to the haunted Henry IV and how the first play really informed his performance in the Henry’s
- Antony Byrne's thong in Henry IV part 2 in the pub/drunk Pistol scene.
- The little mix up at the curtain call of part 1 when the three leads (Jasper, Antony and Alex) realised they weren't in their alloted places and got giggly when they realised their mistake.
- Alex and Sam shirtless in the 'locker room' scene in Henry IV part 2 and by that same token the opening bedroom scene with Alex in part 1 - for 'artistic' reasons, obviously. Ahem.
- The little treatments that were carried through the plays such as Richard/Bolingbroke’s tussle with the crown being mirrored by Hal and Falstaff and then Falstaff and Shadow.
- Feeling like you've been on an epic journey with your fellow audience members as well as the cast (hello to the lady sat next to me who'd flown in from Denver to see the cycle).
Here are my reviews for Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V and notes from the Q&A with David Tennant and Jonathan Slinger. The King and Country cycle is on at the Barbican until January 24 after which it embarks on a world tour.