Hollow Crown Season II is Coming

Dates for the U.S. PBS broadcast haven’t been set yet but here’s a look at the trailer to what’s coming. The Wars of the Roses: Henry VI Parts 1, 2 & 3, and Richard III starring Hugh Bonneville, Tom Sturridge, Sophie Okonedo, Ben Miles, Sally Hawkins, Keeley Hawes, Judi Dench and Benedict Cumberbatch as Richard III.

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Review: The Porters Reconstruct History in Henry VI Pts 1, 2 & 3

Christine Sage as Henry VI

Christine Sage as Henry VI. All photos by Mandi Moss

Attempting to produce all of Shakespeare’s plays would be daunting task for any theatre company but one young group of actors has continued to stay the course. Over a ten-year period, the Porters of Hellsgate have produced twenty of the playwright’s thirty-eight plays, steadily working toward their goal of being the first in Los Angeles to mount the entire canon. This season, they tackle three at once with Henry VI, Parts 1, 2 & 3.

Parts 1 & 2 have been trimmed to a single act each, performed together as one two-and-a-half-hour production. Part 3 has also been edited down to a similar length and is performed in repertory on alternating nights. Each is a stand-alone production so you can see one, or both, or even both in one day, if you like.

In either case, read the plot summaries in the program ahead of time, especially if you aren’t familiar with these plays, or with the Wars of the Roses. And let’s face it. Most of us are not.

If you break it down and divide the Wars into two parts – Henry VI, Parts 1, 2 & 3 and Richard III make up the second half of the story, but Shakespeare wrote this section first. He would later go back and write the first half of the story in Richard II, Henry IV Parts 1 & 2, and Henry V.

In essence, these eight plays deal with the passing of the crown back and forth between the House of York and the House of Lancaster. Both were descendants of Edward III with a legitimate claim to the throne, and therein lies the problem.  More

The Porters Announce Cast for HENRY VI Parts 1, 2 & 3

Porters Henry VIThe Porters of Hellsgate have announced the cast for their upcoming adaptation of Henry VI Parts 1, 2 & 3. The trilogy opens the company’s 10th Anniversary Season, The Year of the King, and is directed by Thomas Bigley and adapted by artistic director Charles Pasternak

Parts 1 & 2 will be presented together in a single, comprehensive play, with each part edited down to a single act beginning April 29. Henry VI Part 3 will preview on May 6 and officially open May 7. The plays will then be performed in rotating rep. If you’d like to see all 3 plays on the same date at a discount, you may purchase tickets for one of their double-show Sundays: May 8 & 29 or June 5 (2pm & 7pm).

The ensemble will feature a large cast of actors playing multiple roles and includes Robert Bedall, Thomas Bigley, Makeda Declet, Sean Faye, Jacques Freydont, David Ghilardi, Will Hickman, Matt Jayson, Gus Krieger, Michael Matthys, Nicholas Neidorf, Jessicah Neufeld, Kate O’Toole, Alex Parker, Timothy Portnoy, Christine Sage, Christopher Salazar, Gray Schierholt, and Liza de Weerd.

Performances will take place at the Whitmore-Lindley Theatre Center, 11006 W Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601. Tickets are available at PortersHenryVI.brownpapertickets.com.

Discount Ticket update:
You can see any performance of Henry VI Parts 1 & 2 and get a discount code for Part 3 at the theater. It isn’t limited to just the Double Show Days. If you’re interested in reserving tickets for both shows on Double Show Days ahead of time, please contact Production Manager Kate O’Toole at porterofpress@gmail.com for special instructions.

Review: Margaret’s Story Comes Front and Center in Shakespeare’s Rose Queen

Rose Queen

Megan Rippey and Brian White

While she may not be as recognizable as Beatrice, Viola, Lady Macbeth or many of his more popular leading ladies, Margaret of Anjou is nonetheless a significant presence in Shakespeare’s history plays – specifically the first tetralogy of the War of the Roses. In this 4-part series (Henry VI Parts 1, 2 & 3 and Richard III) she is a remarkable figure.

We first meet her as a young girl at the end of Henry VI, Part 1 when she is taken prisoner by Suffolk and becomes part of a peace deal between France and England to marry King Henry. In the subsequent plays, she rapidly grows into her power, transitioning from queen to conspirator to warrior, eventually ending up a bitter old woman by the time we get to Richard III. Now beholden to those who murdered her family, she lavishes curses on everyone who has wronged her, many of which mysteriously come to pass.

In truth, much of Margaret’s story is fiction. She never met and carried on a love affair with Suffolk and scenes that show her hand in destroying the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester were also wrought from Shakespeare’s imagination. Her purpose, then, became a way for the playwright to track the evolution of evil in a formidable character. She is nothing if not memorable.

Now Ensemble Shakespeare Theater takes that progression and builds a complete play around it with Margaret in the starring role. The piece is a thought-provoking study that pulls her story out of the Shakespeare canon and places it front and center, painting a fascinating picture of a complex and powerful woman. More

HENRY VI Takes Center Stage at The Production Company

L – R: Tiffany Cole, Eric Rollins and Tina Van B in Henry VI, Pt I. Photo credit: Johnny Patrick Yoder

Artistic Directors August Viverito and T L Kolman present a thrilling new incarnation of Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part I at The Lex Theatre in Hollywood. Deploying a theatrical barrage of combat, live music, pageantry and soaring language, the Production Company presents a glorious and rambunctious revival of the youthful Shakespeare’s most violent, passionate, majestic and politically charged play. Directed by Christopher William Johnson, with fight choreography by Jen Albert, and choral direction by Daniel Halden, it features an acting ensemble made up of Eva Bloomfield, Tiffany Cole, Christopher Carver, Allen Darby, Alex Elliott-Funk, Synden Healy, Kyle Hester, Charles M. Howell IV, Eric Rollins, Taylor Jackson Ross, Tina Van Berckelaer, Matt Van Curen, JB Waterman, and Johnny Patrick Yoder. Assistant direction is by Scott Fleming, lighting by Johnny Patrick Yoder, sound and percussion design by Ryan Beveridge, and costumes are by Will Brattain.  More

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