Rose Theatre Kingston
This autumn the Rose stage will be transformed into a battleground for The Wars of the Roses, a gripping distillation of four of Shakespeare’s history plays, directed by Trevor Nunn, one of the world’s leading Shakespearean directors. A spectacular theatrical event not seen since it was first produced at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1963 by Peter Hall & John Barton, The War of the Roses trilogy of plays covers one of the most tumultuous and intriguing periods of British history - the 15th Century conflict between the House of York and the House of Lancaster for the throne of England. Through these plays Shakespeare examines the very essence of human conflict. A tale of feuding families, murderous kings and adulterous queens, scheming and betrayal, revolts and battles, The Wars of the Roses chronicles the final struggle for power in medieval England. See all three plays in a day, see the three plays over three days, but don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to see Shakespeare at his very best.
The StoryIn the first play, Henry V, the ‘star of England’, after triumphant conquests in France, is dead. His heir is an infant, whose throne must be protected by regents against the counterclaims of the most powerful baronial families in the country – the House of York, whose symbol is a white rose, and the House of Lancaster, represented by a red rose. Conflict is inevitable. The young King Henry VI is married, against his inclination, to a beautiful French princess who has already fallen passionately in love with another man. Meanwhile in France, young Joan of Arc wins historic victories over the English as, at home, the country drifts into Civil War. So begins a saga of violence and intrigue, of political and sexual deception, as the protagonists compete for both the English and French crowns – competitors in what has been described as Shakespeare’s game of thrones.
Henry VI Reviews
"Exhilarating, courageous, essential"
"Strongly acted… a live box-set-watching experience"
"Terrific performances…a welcome revival"
"A shining demonstration of British theatre…truly remarkable. An emotional rollercoaster"
London theatre 1