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Then and Now: Henry IV’s England via the RSC and Bell Shakespeare


Gaby, RS, Then and Now: Henry IV's England via the RSC and Bell Shakespeare, Shakespeare, 11, (3) pp. 303-315. ISSN 1745-0918 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Rosemary Gaby

DOI: doi:10.1080/17450918.2015.1048281


Shakespeare’s Henry IV plays invite a split temporal vision, depicting through one lens historical figures from a specific moment in British history and through another a group of fictional characters from Shakespeare’s present. The degree to which the plays have been geared towards the past or the present in performance has varied widely, with some landmark productions choosing to utilise contemporary settings and many others constructing medieval or Elizabethan contexts for the plays. This paper compares two contrasting examples: the RSC’s 2014 productions of the two parts of Henry IV, directed by Gregory Doran, and the Bell Shakespeare Company’s 2013 Henry IV, directed in Australia by John Bell and Damien Ryan. It situates them as, respectively, embracing historicist and presentist approaches to the plays and considers what their divergent representations of Henry IV’s England might say about the companies and the disparate cultural contexts in which they reproduce Shakespearean history.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Creative Arts and Writing
Research Group:Performing arts
Research Field:Drama, theatre and performance studies
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:Literature
UTAS Author:Gaby, RS (Dr Rosemary Gaby)
ID Code:102452
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:School of Humanities
Deposited On:2015-08-21
Last Modified:2017-11-14

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