Sampling Shakespeare: Henry IV part 2
Why oh why, is there a second half?
The redeeming feature of part one was Sir Anthony Sher as Falstaff. The theme continues with the second half. In the same vein as before, falstaff carries the show and Hal, takes his top off.
The titular Henry is a weakened feeble man, with even less stage time than the first instalment. Making the play feel even more cobbled together. What you have is falstaff having fun with his ladies of the night, and some other stuff occurring in parallel that Shakespeare peppers in when you have had enough of the one man show. We seem to forgotten the welsh, for one.
Just like the first one, this instalment really should be re-named.
Bluff prince Hal goes from being a tennis playing hooray Henry to a stiff, protocol pleading monarch. In about fifteen minutes. Fifteen long minutes, as his dad has a kip and makes the young prince mistake the slumber for death.
This is a play that is most certainly all about Falstaff. So the ending is heart wrenching. Hal, now Henry V, rebuffs Sir john his drinking buddy, and all too heartlessly. You want to smack him one, for the all the covering Flastaff has done for Henry’s behind. Falstaff does nothing, but you do wish he would box young hal’s ears.
And who, who pray, puts the king of England in a dress?!
Hal changes, from a leathers clad hot blood to a dress wearing fairy who at Christmas is going to sit on a tree. To be frank, that also happened to his dad in Richard II.
The question remains though. As to what kind of king Henry V will be.
I guess that is why there is yet another play….