In The Merely Players’ production of Henry IV Pt. 1, I had to dust off my Scottish accent for the aggressive braggart known as “The Douglas”. The Douglas is, to put it mildly, a one-dimensional but emphatic character, and it was a great opportunity to give a loving pastiche of Gerard Butler’s Leonidas, if nothing else.
I also had an opportunity to bring some heavy metal to bear in the first of the Histories we were to perform, with Hal and Hotspur’s final battle taking the form of a brief but brutal Sword and Shield exchange. The challenges of a two-weapon style in the round meant it all came together rather last minute, and with a switch from blade-heavy viking swords to more hilt-balanced medieval swords, the cast were better able to let loose while not fearing for the eyes of the audience.
The show featured star turns from Luke Barton as Hal, David Gerits as Hotspur, Charlotte Donachie as Henry IV and the indomitable Stephen Leask as Falstaff.