Thursday, November 17, 2011
MY Life at the Theater-Richard III and Henry VI
This was one of the great thrills of our life at the theater and of the year we spent in England (1994-95).
We were able to spend a bit of time in York that year and saw the double bill of Richard III and Henry VI at the York Theatre Royal-
It was called The Wars of the Roses--the struggle between the House of York and theHouse of Lancaster in the 15th century.
The Battle of Towton, 12 miles south of York, was fought by 50,000 Englishmen with casualities of 30,000 making it one of the bloodiest battles fought on English soil. Henry was deposed in 1461 after Lancaster's defeat at this battle and the crown moved into York (Plantagenet) hands. The program actually states it is a myth that he murdered his two nephews to prevent their ascension to the throne. Okay. Maybe it was Henry VII.
Of course, seeing this play done in York was a new experience since the people of York saw Richard III quite differently than other productions we have seen. He was their boy.
I have seen Richard III many times, including this summer, but Henry VI is less often performed. Very enjoyable.