Prince Hal

No music, no lush background, no make-up, no costuming … here is the raw power of pure talent.

Colin’s reading for Prince Hal, Henry IV, Part I Act III.  In this 1.5 minutes we see Colin’s power.  Without enhancements, without background music, make-up or costume, he transforms this space.

The Story:  Prince Hal is a huge disappointment to his father, the King.  The King has reprimanded him.  The King launches into a long list of why Hal’s such a degenerate: Hal’s been kicked out of the council and replaced by his little brother, he’s alienated himself from the nobles at court, he’s let down just about everyone who ever had high expectations of him, and they all think he’s on a major downward spiral.

Prince Hal promises to be good.  But, the King is not done. He compares Hal to Hotspur and says (in so many words), “Why can’t you be more like Hotspur? He’s the same age as you but he leads older men into battle and mops the floor with his enemies on a regular basis while you’re clowning around in taverns.”  Hal stammers at first but then delivers his own lengthy speech. Those who have been bad mouthing him to his dad will rue the day because the prince is going to redeem himself by killing Hotspur at the upcoming battle at Shrewsbury.

This is Prince Hal’s speech.  The emotion welling up in his eyes reflects sorrow, anger, and determination … to be seen, once again, a worthy son.

A Translation:  PRINCE HENRY (Hal)

Do not think it so; you shall not find it so: And God forgive them that have so much sway’d  Your majesty’s good thoughts away from me!

I will redeem all this on Percy’s head.  And in the closing of some glorious day Be bold to tell you that I am your son; When I will wear a garment all of blood And stain my favours in a bloody mask, Which, wash’d away, shall scour my shame with it: On that same day, whene’er it lights, This same child of honour and renown, This gallant Hotspur, this all-praised knight, And your unthought-of Harry chance to meet.  For every honour sitting on his helm, Would they were multitudes, and on my head  My shames redoubled! for the time will come, That I shall make this northern youth exchange His glorious deeds for my indignities.

Percy is but my factor, good my lord, To engross up glorious deeds on my behalf; For I shall call him to so strict account, That he shall render every glory up, Yea, even the smallest worship of his time, Or I will tear the reckoning from his heart. The which, if He be pleased I shall perform, I do beseech your majesty may salve The long-grown wounds of my intemperature:

If not, the end of life cancels all bands;  And I shall die a hundred thousand deaths , Ere break the smallest parcel of this vow.

(May 2011)


4 comments on “Prince Hal

  1. Twosocks says:

    I ordered the Globe On Screen of this play so I could see the rest of it. Colin’s take is totally different, which makes it even more interesting.


  2. Twosocks says:

    Excitement over ToY is totally understandable! When I first saw this, I checked it out–I was glad they included the act and scene. Again, watching a different actor play it out with an entirely different temperment was interesting. I feel like Colin was playing this to his own strengths. So revealing. (Why Hal’s father would want a Percy for a son I’m not sure. Would also like to say that Roger Allam’s Falstaff is amazing in these plays and is worth checking out.)


  3. leahluna55 says:

    Uao! True Artist.


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