Alternate Title King and Country: Shakespeare’s Great Cycle of Kings
Premiere US Premiere
Production Language English
Country of Origin England, United Kingdom
Description In a major theatrical event marking the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death, BAM, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and The Ohio State University present Shakespeare’s history plays in King and Country: Shakespeare's Great Cycle of Kings. With productions at the Barbican, and in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, the plays are directed by RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran and performed in repertory at the BAM Harvey Theater from Mar 24 through May 1, 2016.
Doran’s renowned productions of Richard II and Henry IV, Parts I and II are joined by a new critically acclaimed production of Henry V, which premiered at Stratford-upon-Avon this fall (marking the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt). The full cycle runs at the Barbican (Nov 7—Jan 24) prior to the BAM engagements.
Reprising their roles at BAM, David Tennant returns in the title role of Richard II, Antony Sher and Jasper Britton play Falstaff and Henry IV, respectively, in the Henry IV plays, and Alex Hassell continues the journey of young Prince Hal, who reaches maturity as Henry V in the final play of the tetralogy. King and Country marks the return of the RSC to BAM, following its acclaimed production of Julius Caesar (Winter/Spring 2013) directed by Gregory Doran, and the 2007 repertory productions of King Lear (featuring Ian McKellen) and Chekhov’s The Seagull—directed by Trevor Nunn.
Complementing the engagement, the Folger Shakespeare Library—home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection—will share rare books and artifacts from its Washington, DC vaults with BAM audiences in a special exhibition about the four history plays. It’s one of several touring exhibitions produced by the Folger in 2016 as part of The Wonder of Will commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Other highlights include performances, lectures and readings, a new website, Shakespeare Documented, a public radio documentary about Shakespeare in American life, and a tour of the Shakespeare First Folio to all 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico.