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Publisher's Summary

In this BBC full-cast production of Henry IV Part 1, the lines between royalty and commoners are blurred. What, and who, makes a great ruler? 

Father and son Julian Glover and Jamie Glover star as King Henry and his son Hal in this powerful production, which also stars Timothy West and Prunella Scales. 

BBC radio has a unique heritage when it comes to Shakespeare. Since 1923, when the newly-formed company broadcast its first full-length play, generations of actors and producers have honed and perfected the craft of making Shakespeare to be heard. 

In this acclaimed BBC Radio Shakespeare series, each play is introduced by Richard Eyre, former Director of the Royal National Theatre. Revitalised, original and comprehensive, this is Shakespeare for the modern day.

©1999 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)1999 BBC Worldwide Ltd

What listeners say about Henry IV, Part One

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    39
  • 4 Stars
    16
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    6
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    3
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Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    26
  • 4 Stars
    6
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    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
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    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    26
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    2
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    1

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Heavily abridged...

Invariably, and inexcusably, BBC shortens Shakespeare, and they apply an ax rather than a scalpel. This is a particularly egregious example. As one would expect, the introducer emphasizes the genius that Falstaff represents as a comic creation, and he tells us: "It is said, that Elizabethan audiences used to stop cracking their nuts when Falstaff came on stage, so as not to miss a syllable. They had the right idea." To give you just an example: In Act I, scene two, 55 lines of a total of 215 are omitted, 30 of which are Falstaff's.

This is not slightly abridging; it is butchery.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed it. But slightly abridged

I enjoyed this radio production. The only weak points for me concern abridgment. The performance is slightly abridged which isn't generally a problem, although surprisingly the performance omits Hotspur's famous boast in Act one, scene three (By heaven methinks...). Also the Audible website does not appear to have the full list of actors.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Seems of the screen rather than the stage

I enjoyed this audio play, but I still prefer the Arkangel version. Both have the Glovers as the two kings. The biggest difference is the Falstaff. Both are good, but the Falstaff of Richard Griffiths seems much more vibrant and alive. Overall, this recording seems more contrived and remote, like the difference between a movie and a live play.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Falstaff!!

King Henry IV introduces one of Shakespeare's greatest literary characters, Falstaff. This historical play hops along nicely and has wonderful parallels in its characters that serve to emphasize the duality of each character's role in the play (and history). This is not one of my favorites and it seems that I prefer the tragedies over Shakespeare's historical plays, but of course, this being Shakespeare and all, it was well worth the read.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

it's not the complete text

This production is useless to anyone who wants to hear Shakespeare's play because much of the text is missing.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Henry IV part I

A good all-around version of this Shakespeare classic. I enjoyed it. DN

1 person found this helpful