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Bard fans in China get to watch his Prince Hal in action
Last Updated: 2016-02-22 07:30 | China Daily
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The Royal Shakespeare Company, led by its artistic director Gregory Doran, is touring China with Henry IV, Part I, Henry IV, Part IIandHenry V. [Photo by Jiang Dong/China Daily]

Audiences in China who are familiar with William Shakespeare's tragic prince from the play Hamlet will now get a chance to find out more about the iconic dramatist's other royal character, Prince Hal, from his wayward youth in England to his battles later, when they watch Henry IV, Part I,Henry IV, Part II and Henry V.

The plays are about the troubled rule of King Henry IV and his son, Hal, who revels in the company of his friend Falstaff as his father prepares for war. Falstaff is sent to the countryside to recruit fresh troops, but he gleefully indulges in the business of lining his own pockets.

As the king's health fails and the crown comes under threat, the prince must confront his responsibilities.

The Royal Shakespeare Company performed the plays at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing last week.

They will be staged in Shanghai over Feb 25-28 and Hong Kong in March, as part of a series of events in China to mark Shakespeare's 400th death anniversary this year.

Gregory Doran, artistic director of the RSC, directedHenry V,Henry IV, Part IandHenry IV, Part IIfrom autumn to January, under the banner "King and Country", to launch the theater's main repertoire in China.

The director says it would be "misleading" to call them "history plays" because then that would simply imply that they are about British history.

"Ultimately, the plays are about father-son relationships, about family, about control and abuse of power, about justice and the justification or otherwise of going to war," Doran tells China Daily.

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