San Diego Theater Preview: KING RICHARD II (The Old Globe’s Lowell Davies Festival Theatre)

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by Frank Arthur on June 11, 2017

in Theater-Los Angeles,Theater-Regional

“For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings.”

Now through July 15, 2017, Robert Sean Leonard (TV’s House, The Old Globe’s Pygmalion) returns to the Old Globe in San Diego to take on the title role of one of the greatest of Shakespeare’s towering cycle of history plays, directed at the outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre by Erica Schmidt.

Henry Bolingbroke , nephew of Edward III of England, is exiled from England by his cousin Richard II, a power-tripping monarch whose travel plans do not include leaving an ambitious and likely rebellious Bolingbroke back home unsupervised. Henry’s father, John of Gaunt, fails in his suit to have the exile rescinded. Piqued at Gaunt’s dying recriminations, and urged on by sycophants, Richard confiscates Bolingbroke’s inheritance for use in his Irish wars. Various peers conspire to assist Bolingbroke in invading England, seizing the throne, and imprisoning the king. Richard mopes in the Tower, eloquently contemplating the nature of sovereignty and spinelessness, while Bolingbroke considers his options. (The play serves in part as a ramp to the two parts of Henry IV and, eventually, to Henry V.)

Filled with magnificent verse and Shakespeare’s characteristic wisdom and insight, King Richard II is a deeply moving and insightful portrait of how the forces of history collide and combust to shape a nation’s political landscape.

photos by Jim Cox

King Richard II
Old Globe’s Lowell Davies Festival Theatre
1363 Old Globe Way in San Diego’s Balboa Park
June 11 – July 15, 2017
for tickets, call 619.234-5623 or visit The Old Globe

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