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Henry IV, Part 2 by William Shakespeare
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's review
Apr 06, 2008

bookshelves: to-read
Recommended for: Anyone who's just invested in tickets to see a performance of th play

I need to read this play having just seen a performance and been totally confused. I've seen a few Shakespeare performances before and usually found the plot not too difficult to follow. This was completely different though, it's one of his history plays and the plot is very complex. The performance irritated me, the acting was terrific and I enjoyed the costumes and the spectacle, but the director had assumed that the audience had a full knowledge of the plot and the characters and there was no attempt at providing narrative or introduction, not even in the program! I think this is a bit arrogant on the part of the production and assumes the audience are scholars. I'm sure this wasn't the case in Shakespeare's time and audiences would have expected sufficient narrative to allow them to follow the plot and identify characters. I'd like to see all the Henry plays but if the peformances are all like this one was I need to do a lot of reading in advance!

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