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RED FIBREGLASS SHIELD
Richard II, 1974
Director: John Barton
Designers: Martyn Bainbridge, Ann Curtis and Joh Napier
This production opened at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in April 1974. The cast was the same as the 1973 production but the creative team was different. Richard Pasco and Ian Richardson both played the roles of Richard II and Henry Bolingbroke on alternate nights.
By alternating the actors in these two roles Barton highlighted both the struggles between the two men and their similarities. They each had a claim to the English throne and Bolingbroke eventually overthrew Richard II. In the play Bolingbroke predicts that his actions will lead to a troubled reign, saying 'all my reign will be a scene acting that argument'. This line was inserted into the text to forecast a line from Henry IV, Part II when Bolingbroke (now Henry IV) says 'For all my reign hath been but a scene / Acting that argument…'
© 2011 Royal Shakespeare Company