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Richard II [Peter Herrick]

(Photo by Al Foote III)

The splendid King Richard II enters his court to hear a dispute between Henry Bolingbroke, son of his powerful uncle John of Gaunt, and and Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, whom Bolingbroke accuses of treason. (L-R) Lord Marshall [Christian Roulleau]; Bagot [Brian Morvant]; Green [Brian Nocella]; Guard [Jonathan R. Thornsberry]; Bushy [Jim Jack]; King Richard II [Peter Herrick]; and Northumberland [Nicholas Stannard].

(Photo by Al Foote III)

King Richard II  [Peter Herrick]
(Photo by Steve Barrett)

When Bolingbroke and Mowbray prove obstinate Richard decrees that they shall face trial by combat.  "We were not born to sue, but to command;/Which since we cannot do to make you friends,/Be ready, as your lives shall answer it, /At Coventry upon Saint Lambert's Day./There shall your swords and lances arbitrate

/The swelling difference of your settled hate."

Richard II [Peter Herrick]; Mowbray [Marc Silberschatz].

(Photo by Al Foote III)

The widowed Duchess of Gloucester [Libby Hughes] believes that King Richard was behind the murder of her husband and urges John of Gaunt [Bob Armstrong] to demand justice. Gaunt clings to the idea that the King is God's holy representative on earth, who must not be brought down by human hands: "God's is the quarrel-- for God's substitute,/His deputy anointed in His sight,/Hath caus'd his death; the which if wrongfully,/Let heaven revenge, for I must never lift/An angry arm against his minister." (Photo by Al Foote III)

Richard stops the joust before it begins and banishes both combatants. Before Mowbray leaves he addresses Bolingbroke: "what thou art, God, thou, and I do know,/And all too soon, I fear, the king shall rue.” Marc Silberschatz [Mowbray].

(Photo by Al Foote III)

John of Gaunt, [Bob Armstrong], dying, speaks of the reckless course Richard pursues: "Methinks I an a prophet new inspir'd,/And thus expiring do foretell of him:/His rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last" and of England: "This royal throne of kings, this scept'red isle,/This earth of majesty, the seat of Mars,/This other Eden, demi-paradise...Is now leas'd out-- I die pronouncing it--/Like to a tenement or pelting farm...would the scandal vanish with my life,/How happy then were my

ensuing death!'  (Photo by Al Foote III)

Immediately after John of Gaunt's death Richard orders his sycophants, Bagot [Brian Morvant] and Greene [Brian Nocella], to seize his uncle's vast fortune, which should by rights go to Gaunt's son, Bolingbroke. Richard attempts to justify the theft by claiming he needs the money for his forthcoming military excursion to Ireland: "Now for our Irish wars:/We must supplant those rough rug-headed kerns.../And for these great affairs do ask some charge,/Towards our assistance we do seize to us/

The plate, coin, revenues, and moveables,/ Whereof our uncle Gaunt

did stand possess'd." (Photo by Nick Stannard)

In Richard's absence Bolingbroke returns from exile and begins to gather around him all those disaffected from the King, who hastily returns. "I weep for joy/ to stand upon my kingdom once again./Dear earth, I do salute thee with my hand,/Though rebels wound thee with their horses' hoofs...Not all the water in the rough rude sea/Can wash the balm off from an an anointed king;/The breath of worldly men cannot depose/The deputy elected by the Lord;/For every man that Bolingbroke hath press'd/To lift shrewd steel against our golden crown,/God for his Richard hath in heavenly pay/A glorious angel: then, if angels fight,/Weak men must fall..."

Richard II [Peter Herrick] (Photo by Al Foote III)

The King learns that those subjects he had expected to be true to him have gone over to Bolingbroke's side and looses heart: "of comfort no man speak./Let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs...Our lands, our lives, and all, are Bolingbroke's,/And nothing can we call our own but death...For God's sake let us sit upon the ground/And tell sad stories of the death of kings:/How some have been depos'd, some slain in war,/Some haunted by the ghosts they have depos'd,/Some poisoned by their wives, some sleeping kill'd,/All murdered-- for within the hollow crown/That rounds the mortal temples of a king/Keeps Death his court."  Richard II [Peter Herrick]

(Photo by Al Foote III)

King Richard [Peter Herrick] takes shelter in Flint Castle with his few loyal followers, including his cousin, the Duke of Aumerle [Steven Eng], and parleys with Bolingbroke: “O God! O God! that e'er this tongue of mine,/That laid the sentence of dead banishment/On yon proud man, should take it off again/With words of sooth!...What must the king do now? Must he submit?/The king shall do it. Must he be depos'd?/The king shall be contented. Must he lose/The name of king? a God's name, let it go./I'll give my jewels for a set of beads;/My gorgeous palace for a hermitage;/My subjects for a pair of carved saints,/And my large kingdom for a little grave..." (Photo by Al Foote III)

Richard's Queen [Gretchen Howe], in London with her Lady-in-Waiting [Miriam Lipner] tries to distract herself from her worries: Lady: "Madam, I'll sing." Queen: “Tis well that thou hast cause,/But thou shouldst please me better wouldst thou weep."  Lady: "I could weep, Madam, if it would do you good." Queen: "And I could sing, would weeping do me good,/And never borrow any tear of thee./But stay, here come the gardeners./Let's step into the shadow of these trees.../

They'll talk of state..." (Photo by Nick Stannard)

The gardeners [Bob Armstrong] (L), [Jim Jack] (R) in gossiping reveal that Richard is a prisoner: "Bolingbroke/Hath seiz'd the wasteful. O, what pity is it/That he had not trimm'd and dress'd his land/As we this garden!" (Photo by Al Foote III)

In London Bolingbroke convenes the nobility of England. Some urge that he should ascend the throne as Henry IV at once, but the Bishop of Carlisle [Christian Roulleau] protests: "Marry, God forbid! What subject can give sentence on his king?/And who sits here that is not Richard's subject?/O, if you raise this house against this house,/It will the woefullest division prove/That ever fell upon this cursed earth./Prevent it, resist it, let it not be so,/Lest child, child's children, cry against you woe."

(Photo by Al Foote III)

Richard is brought in and and gives up his crown: "Now, mark me how I will undo myself./I give this heavy weight from off my head./...Long may'st thou live in Richard's seat to sit,/And soon lie Richard in an earthy pit./God save King Henry, unking'd Richard says,/And send him many years of sunshine days!"

Richard II [Peter Herrick]  (Photo by Steve Barrett)

Richard is paraded through London after yielding up his crown and is met by his Queen. "Join not with grief, fair woman, do not do so,/To make my end too sudden. learn, good soul,/To think our former state a happy dream."

Richard II [Peter Herrick]; Queen Isabel [Gretchen Howe]

(Photo By Steve Barrett)

The Earl of Northumberland [Nicholas Stannard], one of Bolingbroke's principal supporters, announces the King's plans: Richard must go to the security of Pomfret Castle in the far north and the Queen is exiled to France.  Richard: "Northumberland, thou ladder wherewithal/The mounting Bolingbroke ascends my throne...Doubly divorced! Bad men, you violate/A two-fold marriage-- 'twixt my crown and me,/And then betwixt me and my married wife./Part us, Nothumberland: I towards the north,/Where shivering cold and sickness pines the clime;/My wife to France, from whence set forth in pomp,/She came adorned hither like sweet May."

(Photo by Steve Barrett)

The Bishop of Carlisle and Aumerle, together with others, plan to assassinate King Henry and restore Richard. The plot is outlined in a letter that Aumerle's father sees hidden in his son's cloak. Aumerle tries to dissuade his father: from reading the incriminating letter.  "I do beseech your grace to pardon me;/It is a matter of small consequence,/Which for some reasons I would not have seen."

Aumerle [Steven Eng].  (Photo by Al Foote III)

Aumerle's father, the Duke of York [Joseph Small] feels honor bound to inform King Henry, but the Duchess [Donna Stearns] fights to save her son. Duke: "Bring me my boots: I will unto the king." Duchess: "Why, York, what wilt thou do?/Wilt thou not hide the trespass of thine own?/Have we more sons? Or are we like to have?" Duke: "A dozen of them here have ta'en the sacrament,/And interchangeably set down their hands/To kill the king at Oxford." Duchess: "He shall be none;/We'll keep him here with us."  (Photo by Al Foote III)

The Duchess hurries to the new King, throws herself on her knees and extravagantly pleads with him for mercy. Bolingbroke: "Good aunt, stand up." Duchess: "Nay, do not say 'Stand up';/Say 'pardon' first, and afterwards 'stand up'./And if I were they nurse, thy tongue to teach,/'Pardon' should be the first word of thy speech./I never longed to hear a word till now." Duchess of York [Donna Stearns].

(Photo by Nick Stannard)

Richard: "I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.”

He is murdered in his cell and his body taken to King Henry IV.

Richard II [Peter Herrick].  (Photo by Steve Barrett)

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