Henry’s wayward son Hal capers with destiny, eluding his royal responsibilities in the taverns of Eastcheap with his fat friend Falstaff—one of Shakespeare’s most comically disturbing creations. In this richly humorous version of the Prodigal Son, Hal emerges from his displaced youth to become one of the most valiant and best-loved English kings.
“You know how, in a Chekhov play, what is important is what is not said? It’s my belief that the first Chekhov play ever written was written by Shakespeare and called Henry IV. That’s because the play is about love—love between a young prince and a fat old knight. They never call it love, they never speak of it, but it is acknowledged by their interaction with almost every breath they take, and when everything is clicking on a given night, it positively clangs in the heart of the audience!”
–David Sabin (Falstaff) in An American Classic: Shakespeare Theatre Company
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