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Abbey Shakespeare Players 2008: Henry IV

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
2 Henry IV Act 3 Sc 1

The cares of kingship weigh heavily on Henry IV.

He came to power by seizing the throne from his predecessor Richard II, and now has his murder on his conscience. The powerful nobles that set him on the throne are about to turn against him.

And his heir, Prince Hal, spends his time with a bunch of ne'er-do-wells in the London stews, drinking and thieving. Hal's partner in crime is Shakespeare's greatest comic creation, the fat fantasist Sir John Falstaff, a charmer and con-man with no thought for anyone's good except his own.

If all the year were playing holidays, To sport would be as tedious as to work.
Prince Henry, 1 Henry IV Act 1 Sc 2


Uproarious comic set pieces, battles, and a tense father-son relationship combine in this most subtle and thoughtful of Shakespeare's history plays, as Hal matures into the Henry V who would lead England to victory at Agincourt.

The two parts of Henry IV, here presented as a single edited performance, raise questions about leadership and honour that are as valid today as ever they were.

Spectacle and live music are all part of the tradition established by the Abbey Shakespeare Players in the magical setting of St Dogmaels Abbey.


Cast - Crew - Music Notes - Pictures by David Baker - Pictures by Stephen Whitehead

Play out the play.
Falstaff 1 Henry IV Act II Sc 4

I have more flesh than another man, and therefore more frailty.
Falstaff, 2 Henry IV Act III Sc 1

How quickly nature falls into revolt When gold becomes her object!
King Henry, 2 Henry IV, Act IV Sc 5


Henry IV was the Abbey Shakespeare Players' 22nd summer production in St Dogmaels Abbey and was directed by Georgina Ferry.

8pm, Wednesday 30 July–Saturday 2 August 2008/Dydd Mercher 30 Gorffennaf–Dydd Sadwrn 2 Awst.

Proceeds from this production donated to Hanes Llandoch.