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A Prince for Three Seasons


British actor Phillip Brown is rare not only in that he adores the humid Richmond summers but that after starring in last summer's "Henry IV, Part 1," he returns to Agecroft Hall this year for Richmond Shakespeare's "Henry IV, Part 2" and will play the wayward-to-warlord Prince Hal one last time in next summer's "Henry V." "Very few actors get the chance to play Hal in all three plays," he says. "The great thing is how you [as Prince Hal] go from being a young sort of hoodlum to a great leader. By doing all three plays, you can see all elements come together that form the man. The plays handle it perfectly." The Henry plays (along with "Richard II") form the first tetralogy of Shakespeare's epic eight-play History Cycle, through which Richmond Shakespeare has been diligently making its way. (Artistic Director Grant Mudge jokingly calls "Henry IV, Part 2" "The King Strikes Back.") On performing in the courtyard at a real 15th-century manor house, Brown says, "You couldn't ask for a better place to perform Shakespeare. The building is so beautiful and lends such an atmosphere. Surrounded by Tudor England, speaking verse makes sense." So his Northampton accent should feel right at home.

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