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Shakespeare’s ‘Henry IV Part One’ opens at Festival
by HoLLY COOMBS
Jul 09, 2014 | 350 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A scene from the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s 2014 production of “Henry IV Part One.” PhotoS by Karl Hugh. Copyright Utah Shakespeare Festival 2014
A scene from the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s 2014 production of “Henry IV Part One.” PhotoS by Karl Hugh. Copyright Utah Shakespeare Festival 2014
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CEDAR CITY – William Shakespeare’s “Henry IV Part One” is one of three plays by the Bard playing at the Utah Shakespeare Festival this season as part of the History Cycle and the Complete the Canon project at the festival.

Artistic Director Brian Vaughn is the director of the action packed and humorous production. Vaughn said opening nights are always rough, but he said he was happy to see the first night performance turn out so well.

“The actors did everything very smoothly and I think the audience enjoyed it,” Vaughn said.

For attendees who struggle with understanding the Shakespearean language, the plot might be confusing at the beginning, but can interpreted through evaluation of the actor’s movements in the show. As an heir to the throne, Henry, prince of Wales, also known as “Hal” falls into a crowd of friends and turns away from his duties until his kingdom becomes threatened by Scotland and other forces.

The character favorite for the audience on opening night was Sir John Walstaff; a friend of Hal’s who is an older and bigger man. Walstaff and the friends he associates with freely poke fun at his size and age. He is occasionally a liar to make his actions seem more extravagant, and a man who freely drinks “sack,” also known as wine.

The swordplay gets exciting in the Adams Shakespearean Theatre, as actors battle in the aisles.

Sam Ashdown plays the part of Hal with great prestige and is accompanied by Henry Woronicz as Sir John.

Festival Founder Fred Adams said he feels this season has started off great for the works of Shakespeare and he hopes people will enjoy the story of “Henry IV” among the other plays.

For information about the festival, this season’s plays, and tickets visit www.bard.org.
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