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May 11, 2005

Henry IV, Part 2

O sleep! O gentle sleep! Natures soft nurse, how have I frighted thee, that thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down and steep my senses in forgetfulness?
- King Henry IV

I had not been to the National Theatre since I saw Dame Judi Dench in A Little Night Music some years ago. Sondheim is always a treat but I was also impressed with the performance space (if less so with the fantastically unwelcoming Brutalist exterior). So I looked forward to seeing how it would be used to stage Henry IV, Part 2. Wonderful lighting and music kept me almost entirely awake for what is, let's face it, a mess of a play that in the end is only a prequel for the ass-kickery that is Henry V. One pleasant surprise, sure to vex the Sister of the Flea, was the appearance of Flea-fav and role-model Matthew Macfadyen as the Prince of Wales, aka Tom Quinn from Spooks (MI5 to north American audiences). Spoiler alert: he becomes Henry V.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at May 11, 2005 10:14 AM

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