HENRY IV PART 2 (1956)
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Frank Greene
Ian McKellen in the role of Prince Hal
19 March 1956 - 24 March 1956
Words from Ian McKellen
It was thrilling to discover as a teenager what is now, perhaps, my favourite of Shakespeare’s plays. The range of the people and their language is wide, as if an entire nation inhabits the stage. Acting Prince Hal, I learnt a bit about breath control and how to keep woollen leggings tight, with the aid of a large copper penny twisted into the waistband. Frank Greene, the senior English master, chose the School Play and directed it over a couple of months of post-school rehearsals. He was a stickler for enunciation - ‘It’s soldyar not sodger, McKellen’ - and curbed a little our Lancashire accent of broad vowels and dropped aitches. He usefully corrected my habit of standing with one foot resting on the side rather than the instep. Characterisation was not much delved into.
Norman Davies (Clarence) is author of "Europe", "The Isles" and other classic, readable, history tomes. — Ian McKellen, December 2006