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At the age of only ten, Richard Plantagenet succeeded his father Edward III as King of England. It was 1377 and a time of great hardship following the Black Death, but Richard lived lavishly at home and, abroad, pursued an expensive and futile war with France. The taxes he imposed provoked the famous 'Peasants Revolt' of 1381 and his attempt to rule autocratically alienated both nobility and Parliament. Shakespeare's loosely historical but theatrically wonderful account of Richard's last days concentrates on his most fateful error - the exile of his cousin Henry Bullingbrook and the seizure of his Lancastrian estates. Bullingbrook would return to England, topple Richard and take the throne himself as Henry IV, setting the stage for the bloody 'Wars of the Roses' between York and Lancaster. The play's extraordinary beauty and simplicity, and its study of a man reduced from - as he saw it - divinely appointed King, to a mere mortal without role, freedom or friends, put it among the most moving of all Shakespeare's tragedies. RSC 'The Histories' CompanyPerformers Nicholas Asbury, Hannah Barrie, Keith Bartlett, Antony Bunsee, Rob Carroll, Richard Cordery, Matt Costain, Julius D'Silva, Keith Dunphy, Wela Frasier, Geoffrey Freshwater, Paul Hamilton, Alexia Healy, Kieran Hill, Tom Hodgkins, Chuk Iwuji, John Mackay, Forbes Masson, Chris McGill, Patrice Naiambana, Luke Neal, Sandy Neilson, Ann Ogbomo, Miles Richardson, Lex Shrapnel, Anthony Shuster, Jonathan Slinger, Katy Stephens, Geoffrey Streatfeild, James Tucker, David Warner, Roger Watkins, Clive Wood.
Author Shakespeare. Company Royal Shakespeare Company. Director Michael Boyd. Design Tom Piper. Lighting Heather Carson. Music James Jones. Music John Woolf. Director Liz Ranken (movement). Sound Andrea J. Cox. Director Terry King (fights). Director Matt Costain (director or rope work). Director Donnacadh O'Braian.
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