The contemporary culture guide to medieval English monarchs
January 13, 2012
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It’s becoming fairly standard for me to go see a Shakespearean history play and have to Wikipedia the characters during the interval so I know I have my kings in the right order. All those bloody Plantagenets and then the Wars of the Roses. (You might think I’d learn and research the history beforehand, but it’s not until I’ve seen some of the play that I can get all the Yorks, Lancasters and Gloucesters fixed in my head. Too many noblemen.)
This is a fair representation of how the conversation went last night at the interval of Richard II at the Donmar Warehouse, with Eddie Redmayne as Richard and Andrew Buchan as Bolingbroke.
– Ah, yes. Bolingbroke is Henry IV.
– So Andrew Buchan is Jamie Parker?
– No, Jamie Parker’s Henry V.
– So Andrew Buchan is Jamie Parker’s dad?
– Yes. And young Henry Percy is presumably Hotspur, who is the one who wasn’t a proper pre-Raphaelite from Desperate Romantics.
– And after Jamie Parker?
– Henry VI, came to the throne as a baby, then back and forth with Edward IV. Then the Princes in the Tower and Richard III.
– And Richard III is Ian McKellen.
It’s good to see that history degree of mine not going to waste.