Northumberland swears revenge for his son's death and gathers his allies to fight the ailing king. Meanwhile, the Lord Chief Justice having rebuked Falstaff for being a bad influence on Hal... See full summary »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Gloucester
Conrad Asquith ...
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Shallow
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Pip Carter ...
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Tom Cornish ...
Feeble
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Lady Northumberland
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Drew Dillon ...
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Fang
Henry Faber ...
Richard Frame ...
Snare
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Northumberland swears revenge for his son's death and gathers his allies to fight the ailing king. Meanwhile, the Lord Chief Justice having rebuked Falstaff for being a bad influence on Hal, charges him to recruit an army on Henry's behalf. After brawling with the truculent Pistol, Falstaff prepares to leave his lover, Doll Tearsheet, criticizing Hal to her, unaware that the prince is eaves-dropping. Falstaff assembles a motley crew from Justice Shallow but Henry's cousin Westmoreland arrests the rebel leaders after duping them into a truce. Hal, assuming his father is dead, dons the crown and is berated by the dying king but they reconcile as Henry's last gesture is to crown his son. Hal accedes to the throne as Henry V but, now aware he must put frivolity aside, banishes Falstaff as his first act as ruler. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Drama | History

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4 October 2013 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Niamh Cusack is Jeremy Irons sister in law See more »

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To crown a king
19 May 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Henry IV, Part 2 like the first part is a play named after king who really does not have the title role. Although Jeremy Irons has bigger role here than he did in Part 1.

The dramatisation deals with the aftermath from the first play with Hotspur's father Northumberland (Alun Armstrong) gathering the rebels to avenge his son's death and take on the ill Henry IV now deep in regret in the manner of his own taking of the throne and the fallout from it. However wily Westmoreland entices the rebel leaders into a truce and then promptly arrests them and have them all quickly executed.

Prince Hal is maturing into a man ready to ascend to the throne as his father struggles with his health. Both reconcile and like the older Don Corleone in The Godfather gives his son advice as to how best to deal with his power and rivals, sowing the seeds of taking France and thus tightening his grip on his own crown.

In the tavern Falstaff becomes more desperate and tragic with ill health fending off his pursuers and hoping for some kind of pay off. When Hal is crowned as Henry V, he sternly rejects Falstaff when he begs for acknowledgement from his old drinking buddy during the coronation procession. Like a child grown up Henry V puts away foolish things, he is readying for new battles.

Falstaff is left shattered and humiliated. A lovelorn figure, a man with little to be boastful about.

Again director Richard Eyre has used location to open up the play, the tavern sequences certainly bring out the low life atmosphere of London. Despite the text being cut down it just felt less busy. You actually did feel if this could had been combined with Part 1 and the story told in one play.

It again emphasises that these plays were of Shakespeare's times. Entertainment for the evening four hours or more and Part 2 to follow the next day. To the modern viewer it halts the flow of the story. Too much fat on the side.


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