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Friday, April 22, 2016

Gregory Doran on King and Country: Shakespeare’s Great Cycle of Kings

In a rich conversation with eminent Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro, Royal Shakespeare Company Artistic Director Gregory Doran shed light on the four plays in King and Country: Shakespeare’s Great Cycle of Kings. Below are highlights from their April 7 talk.

Doran shares the greatest piece of advice he’s received as a director and leads us into his personal approach to directing and performing Shakespeare.

After taking the plays to China, Doran realized that the story takes precedent over the tie to British history. But this doesn’t stop Doran and the Royal Shakespeare Company from hiding a subtle reference in the heart of the Henriad for astute historians in the audience to pick up on…

Bringing these four histories (Richard II, Henry IV Part I, Henry IV Part II, and Henry V) together is an enormous feat, and wasn’t the original staging of each production. Gathering them in sequence at BAM reveals new discoveries even for Doran, three years after the premiere of Richard II.

Star power is not the name of the game for the Royal Shakespeare Company. More than anything, an appreciation for the ensemble has led Doran forward throughout his tenure at the RSC.

The King and Country Cycle plays through May 1.

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