The Tragedy of King Richard II (version 2)


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(5 stars; 2 reviews)

Billed by scholars as the first part of the all-encompassing Henriad, Richard II is a richly satisfying probe into the inner workings of monarchical rule and its evolution from being seen as divinely held to a more modern conception that incorporates political cunning. Shakespeare positions the titular Richard in the former position, his shortcomings as England's leader made all too clear when he bungles the handling of a judicial duel, and then later seizes money and assets that are not rightfully his in order to fund an Irish war. At the opposite end is the Machiavellian opportunist Henry Bolingbroke, who assembles enough supporters to help him dethrone the king and become the future Henry IV—the protagonist of the next two plays in this historical series. Written entirely in verse and containing some of the Bard's most florid and evocative language, Richard II never fails to transport its audience back to its time, where the furious machinations of government and kingly rule could be as captivating and intense as any battlefield siege.

And to perform it all? Three men (Craig Franklin, Tomas Peter, and Brad "Hamlet" Filippone) and one woman (Sonia), determined to give you a performance of Shakespeare's work that you will never forget. You thought you knew your Shakespeare? Well, think again! - Summary by Tomas Peter
Brad “Hamlet” Filippone: Narrator; Henry Bolingbroke; Earl of Salisbury; Bushy; Abbot of Westminster; York’s Servant; Exton’s Servant; Gardener’s Servant; Another Lord.
Sonia: Richard II; Richard’s Queen; Duchess of York; Duchess of Gloucester; Lord Berkeley; Lord Ross; Lord Fitzwater; Second Herald.
Tomas Peter: Duke of York; Duke of Aumerle; Thomas Mowbray; Green; Henry Percy; Sir Pierce of Exton; Lord Willoughby; First Herald; Queen’s Attendant; Stable Groom.
Craig Franklin: John of Gaunt; Earl of Northumberland; Bagot; Duke of Surrey; Bishop of Carlisle; Sir Stephen Scroop; Lord Marshal; Gardener; Welsh Captain; Keeper. (2 hr 54 min)

Chapters

Dramatis Personae 3:08 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act I 39:32 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act II 39:31 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act III 36:10 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act IV 20:59 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act V 35:31 Read by LibriVox Volunteers