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The Tragedy of Richard II by William Shakespeare

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Published on Feb 4, 2013

Charles Bouchard, Director; Boff Muir, Producer; Sebastian Chrispin, Richard;Duncan Lumsden, Bolingbroke; David Steen, Gaunt/Carlisle; Tim Myers, York; Sophie Thompson, Queen; Erik Maes, Northumberland; Geoffrey Mandami, Mowbray/Exton;Lucy Hadley, Duchess York; Simone Ellul, Duchess Gloucester; Neil Clark, Aumerle; Neale Macdonald, Salisbury/Keeper; Sherry Vosburgh, Berkely/Gardener; Graham Andrews, Bushy/Scroop/Fitzwater; Zack Besky, Percy; Ruth Ivory, Marshall/Willoughby; Marc Leotard, Green/Guard; Frederik Kusiak, Captain/Groom; Matty Matsagoura, Maid/Gardener; Anastasios Tisirakidis, Attendant; Celine Nieto, Lady; Gregory Bouchard, Guard/Noble; Jeremy Dhanani; Guard CREW: Martin Kirk, Stage Manager; Guillaume Lamarre, Assistant Stage Manager; Kevin Murphy, Lighting; Eamon McHugh, Sound; Deborah Griffiths, Catriona White, Costumes; Mari Kriis, Make Up; Elizabeth Flynn, Music; Meg Chang, Artwork

The Tragedy of King Richard II
Synopsis
King Richard asks his uncle John of Gaunt to bring his son Henry Bolingbroke (cousin of Richard, also called the Duke of Hereford, Lancaster, and later, King Henry IV) before him to arbitrate his dispute with Thomas Mowbray. Bolingbroke accuses Mowbray of many crimes, but especially the murder of his uncle the Duke of Gloucester. The Duchess of Gloucester pleads with John of Gaunt to avenge the murder of her husband (Gaunt's brother)--Gaunt refuses, revealing that King Richard himself killed Gloucester.

A formal duel is arranged to settle the dispute between Bolingbroke and Mowbray. But King Richard halts the duel and hastily decides to banish Bolingbroke for six years, and Mowbray for life.

The King surrounds himself with flatterers (Aumerle, Bushy, Green) whom the nobles, especially John of Gaunt, his brother York, and Northumberland, bitterly denounce. When the beloved John of Gaunt dies, Richard confiscates his property, denying the banished Bolingbroke his inheritance. York and the leading nobles are outraged. Richard's kingdom is in disarray, and yet he now departs to wage a war in Ireland, leaving his uncle the Duke of York in charge. But he leaves York no men or money to uphold his government.

Northumberland leads the nobles in revolt against Richard while he is in Ireland and assists Henry Bolingbroke's return to England. The aggrieved nobles back Henry, who executes Richard's main backers.

Richard falls into despair when he returns to England and sees all his supporters are dead or fled to Henry. The Duke of York (uncle to both Richard and Henry) also reluctantly backs Henry.

Richard is deeply tortured by the loss of his crown which he believes he wears by divine right. He and his Queen learn that even the common people have abandoned him. He at last abdicates to Henry. He is publicly humiliated and imprisoned, and tearfully separated from his Queen, who is banished to France.

Henry IV assumes royal power, executing many of Richard's followers, but pardoning the treacherous Duke of Aumerle (son of York) at the urgent behest of his mother the Duchess of York.

In prison, Richard compares his prison to the world, and reflects on his sins and fate. He is attacked by assassins, defends himself bravely, but is killed by Exton. When his body is brought to King Henry, he repudiates the murder and vows to purge this crime by a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

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  • Song

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  • Album

    • The English Riviera
  • Licensed to YouTube by

    • [Merlin] BecauseMusic (on behalf of Because Music Ltd.); UBEM, LatinAutor, UMPI, LatinAutor - UMPG, ASCAP, CMRRA, UMPG Publishing, and 11 Music Rights Societies
  • Song

    • Requiem, K. 626 - Introitus (Eternal Rest Give To Them, O Lord)
  • Artist

    • Sir Neville Marriner, Academy Of St. Martin In The Fields
  • Licensed to YouTube by

    • UMG (on behalf of Fantasy Records); LatinAutor, and 9 Music Rights Societies
  • Song

    • Requiem, K. 626. Dies Irae
  • Artist

    • Sir Neville Marriner, Academy Of St. Martin In The Fields, Academy Of St. Martin In The Fields Chorus, Laszlo Heltay
  • Licensed to YouTube by

    • UMG (on behalf of Fantasy Records); UMPG Publishing, and 11 Music Rights Societies

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