Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, nearly finished with the immense task of staging all 38 of Shakespeare’s surviving plays over its 20-year history, has launched another noteworthy effort: It’s staging — in chronological order — the eight plays that constitute the “History Cycle,” documenting dynastic struggles in 14th- and 15th-century England. When this five-year project is finished, CSC will be just the second company in the U.S. to have done so.
Cincinnati Shakespeare has just opened a three-week production of Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2. It’s slightly more than three hours long, condensing Part I as its first act and Part II as its second. The stories explore the influences on Prince Hal (Justin McCombs) of his father, the once brash but now regretful King Henry IV (Jim Hopkins), and the dissolute Sir John Falstaff (Matthew Lewis Johnson), perhaps Shakespeare’s most popular comic character.
Henry IV, presented by Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, continues through April 19. Tickets: 513-381-2273, x1. Read a full review here.