Already closed | 2h 0m | Brooklyn

Henry IV

From 40 member  reviews
Members say: Absorbing, Great acting, Ambitious, Clever, Great staging

About the show

St. Ann's Warehouse brings the cutting-edge Donmar Warehouse's 'Henry IV' to New York following raves in London. An all-female cast tells the story of Prince Hal against the backdrop of an at risk women's prison. More…

Starring Dame Harriet Walter (deemed "one of best Shakespeareans alive" by The Guardian) and a diverse, all-female cast, this American Premiere encompasses action from both 'Henry IV Part I' and 'Part II' to create a single narrative of Shakespeare’s monumental history plays. Following director Phyllida Lloyd's all-female 'Julius Caesar' in 2013, this production is the second of an envisioned trilogy that empowers women to play Shakespearean roles normally reserved for men. St. Ann's Warehouse will open its inaugural season in it's new home with this event.

2h 0m | Already closed | St Ann's Warehouse (Brooklyn)

Member Reviews (40)


Absorbing, Great acting, Ambitious, Clever, Great staging
Avg Score

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Ambitious

See it if you're open to innovative interpretations of WS. All-female cast was strong, especially Walter. Prison setting was unnecessary distraction.

Don't see it if you like classic WS only. H4 was deeply cut...but still coherent & greatest lines preserved. Thrilling to see women in all the best roles.

Also I'm catching up on old reviews. I was captivated by H4 (I had missed t... Read more Read less

Clever, Great acting, Original

See it if You want to see a non-traditional version of Shakespeare. You want a show w/political intrigue. You want to see great acting.

Don't see it if You don't like Shakespeare. You prefer more traditional interpretations of Shakespeare. You don't want to travel to Brooklyn.

Absorbing, Clever, Great staging, Intense, Original

See it if you want a different take on a classic: this is all female production in a prison. It works.

Don't see it if you insist on literally accurate interpretations of Shakespeare.

Great staging, Original, Refreshing, Inventive, A bit long

See it if Enjoy seeing Shakespeare done with a fresh eye and high energy. Jade Anouk as Hotspur! Harriet Ward as King! Do review the plot beforehand.

Don't see it if You are new to the play (review the plot!) and if you can't sit for 2H 15 without a break.

Masterful, Must see, Riveting, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if u love Shakespeare & super acting. Harriet Walter starts things off brilliantly w/ her speech as King Henry IV's. 2 1/4 hours later you're

Don't see it if well into the chronicles portrayed here in the "Greater Tetralogy." Can't help a Readers' Digest-y feeling from time to time. It's aces!

Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Relevant

See it if You love contemporary, experimental productions of Shakespeare. Very well acted and staged.

Don't see it if You're looking for the traditional or can't handle an all-female cast.

Absorbing, Epic, Great acting, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you appreciate Shakespeare's history plays and welcome a non-conventional approach to their casting and staging.

Don't see it if you're a Shakespeare traditionalist.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Original

See it if

Don't see it if if you don't like shakespeare and prison drama

Great writing, Quirky, Overrated

See it if Obviously great writing but the production was too gimmicky despite some very good acting. Many of the gimmicks obscured the basic theme.

Don't see it if You wish to see Shakespeare unalloyed and free of too many gimmicks.

Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Original

See it if you look for original, unusual productions with a very specific point of view. All-female Shakespeare is unusual and to be celebrated.

Don't see it if you want a straight Bard production with no added layers of interpretation, or an unedited Henry. 2h15 with no intermission, forewarning.

Ambitious, Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Must see

See it if You like Shakespeare & want to see a truly unique production; you are interested in seeing a production based in a Woman's prison.

Don't see it if You have a small bladder, or if you have trouble sitting for too long. It's well over 2 hours with no intermission. Worth it, but pee first!

Great acting, Clever, Allegorical, Condensed

See it if Enjoyed the Donmar Julius Caesar, want to see an innovative but fully respectful production, would appreciate the mastery of Walter & Dunne

Don't see it if Can't see beyond the actors' gender to their humanity, looking for word-faithful Shakespeare or no Shakespeare at all, hate Chelsea FC

Absorbing, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Riveting, Great acting

See it if You want to see a Henry IV that lends depth to both Kings. Phenomenal acting all around.

Don't see it if You don't have the money.

Great acting, Original, Overrated, Riveting

See it if you want to watch an outstanding Harriet Walter and female cast in a highly charged and original interpretation of Shakespeare.

Don't see it if you don't approve of ambitious directors messing with your Bard of Avon using gimmicks and a somewhat strained prison/power metaphor.

Entertaining, Great staging, Great acting, Masterful

See it if You want to see a unique and thoroughly entertaining modern staging of a Shakespeare classic.

Don't see it if Modern staging matched with traditional Shakespearean dialogue turns you off.

Absorbing, Clever, Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging

See it if You love Shakespeare but also Orange is the New Black, you love a diverse all-female cast, you are a Harriet Walter or Donmar Warehouse fan

Don't see it if You don't like people messing with your Shakespeare, you can't handle strong women, you can't understand thick British accents.

Ambitious, Disappointing, Indulgent, Brits doing shakespeare, Overrated

See it if you want to hear clear diction and sometimes clarity of the Shakespeare text. Also if you enjoy watching experimental concepts, not working.

Don't see it if you're expecting a revelation. Presumably women prisoners doing Shakespeare, but the prison is never believable - and Shakespeare only okay

Confusing, Disappointing, Some good acting, Ambitious, Uneven

See it if You are excited by the all-female take on the play. This was done well and yielded some good performances and a few interesting moments.

Don't see it if You want good production values. You dislike meta-theatrical tinkering with the play.

Clever, Intelligent, Refreshing, Ambitious, Edgy

See it if you want your "Henry" played a different way.

Don't see it if you saw this group's production last year and it wasn't your cup of tea.

Intelligent, Imaginative, Original, Great staging, Thought-provoking

See it if you like smart theater and you love Shakespeare

Don't see it if you prefer your Shakespeare traditional or have a fear of prisons.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if fab actors are your thing

Don't see it if you don't like women

Great acting, Absorbing, Must see, Original, Relevant

See it if You love Shakespeare, you wish you loved Shakespeare, you're looking for something to make Shakespeare feel relevant

Don't see it if You're looking for a traditional staging of the play

Ambitious, Confusing, Intense, Raunchy, Overrated

See it if You are interested in seeing some masterful women play roles they are not normally afforded. You enjoy meta-theatrical devices.

Don't see it if You expect to fully understand the dynamics of the "play without a play" of the female prisoners themselves.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Masterful, Great writing

See it if you like Shakespeare in non-traditional settings, and are interested in plays about women in stressful circumstances

Don't see it if you only like your Shakespeare in period costume, or do not like gender neutral casting.

Absorbing, Edgy, Resonant, Relevant

See it if Love new adaptations of Shakespeare featuring women!

Don't see it if Are a Shakespeare purist

November 11th, 2015
"There’s something about putting these fighting words into the mouths of women that makes us listen with newborn ears for the ring of absurdity and desperation within. This production reminds us that casting against the grain can be a potent tool in theater...They also bring to the production the...
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November 12th, 2015
"At times, it’s unclear whether we’re watching a well-acted, accessible 'Henry IV' that just happens to be set in a prison, or an unstable, rough-hewn version being acted by female prisoners...While there are dry patches in the intermission-free night (a bit over two hours), the frame still gives...
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November 12th, 2015
"Though the conceit is carried out in numerous ways, some of which border on kitsch, it is more than just a gimmick...The acting, where permitted to be so, is thrillingly successful. But insofar as the production is also a serious attempt to see what new meanings and colors a female perspective, ...
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November 12th, 2015
"Unfortunately, the prison setting, while certainly novel, adds little to our appreciation of the play…It's all very silly and distracting, and a shame, really...Harriet Walter reaffirms her status among the great Shakespearean actors with her compellingly forceful turn in the title role…The comp...
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