DruidShakespeare: The History Plays OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Sara Krulwich
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    July 7, 2015
    Closing:
    July 19, 2015

    Theater: Gerald W. Lynch / 524 West 59th Street, New York, NY, 10019

    Synopsis: 

    Visionary playwright Mark O’Rowe’s thrilling adaptation distills four action-packed plays—Richard II, Henry IV (Parts 1 & 2), and Henry V—into an epic story of families, wars, and the making of nations. DruidShakespeare opens with the existential struggle of Richard II as he topples from his divinely appointed throne to find himself an all-too-human man, overthrown by Bolingbroke. The tension builds as Bolingbroke, now Henry IV, jeopardizes the crown and alienates himself from his subjects and advisors with persistent arrogance. His son and successor, Prince Hal/Henry V, must then cast aside his youthful vices and companions (including Falstaff) to find redemption for his country.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF DruidShakespeare: The History Plays

    ‘DruidShakespeare: The History Plays’ Is Complete With a Crown Fit for Many Kings

    Ben Brantley

    July 13, 2015: Now that the inaugural fashion week for men is underway in New York, what better time to check out the transformative headgear on such seductive display at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater. For there is surely no better or more thrilling example of apparel that makes and unmakes a man than this gold, spiky, circular creation, which might have been designed by Alexander McQueen in a sadomasochistic mood. First seen perched atop a human skull, it is both the glittering centerpiece and fatal catalyst in the Ireland-based Druid Theater Company’s enthralling marathon production of four Shakespeare history plays, which runs through Sunday as part of the Lincoln Center Festival 2015. This, you see, is the crown of England, and — as three monumental men learn to their sorrow — it is as much a thing of pain as of beauty. Under the unceasingly fertile direction of Garry Hynes, “DruidShakespeare: The History Plays” presents an immemorial totem of power as an object that hypnotizes and irrevocably changes its wearers. Those who put it on find themselves subject to strange, deforming symptoms, such as stigmata-like open wounds on the forehead or rashes that ravage the face. Still, they hold onto it with the poisoned, proprietary monomania of Gollum with his precious piece of jewelry in “The Lord of the Rings.”

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