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The Hollow Crown

Series 1

Episode 1: Richard II

Duration: 2 hours, 20 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC HDLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

The Hollow Crown brings together four filmed adaptations of Shakespeare's History Plays - Richard II, Henry IV parts 1 and 2, and Henry V. Starting in the year 1399, this continuous story of monarchy follows events during sixteen years of dynastic and political power play. Kings, with their families and followers, are threatened by rebellion and conflict.

The story takes us from the Royal Court at Westminster to battlefields in England and France. These rich films are woven with the finest of Shakespeare's poetry and are filmed in the architecture and landscape of the period.

King Richard is called upon to settle a dispute between his cousin Henry Bolingbroke and Thomas Mowbray. Richard calls for a duel but then halts it just before swords clash. Both men are banished from the realm. Richard visits John of Gaunt, Bolingbroke's father, who, in the throes of death, reprimands the king. After seizing Gaunt's money and land, Richard leaves for wars against the rebels in Ireland. Bolingbroke returns to claim back his inheritance. Supported by his allies, Northumberland and the Duke of York, Bolingbroke takes Richard prisoner and lays claim to the throne. Show less


King Richard:
Ben Whishaw
Rory Kinnear
Duke of York:
David Suchet
Earl of Northumberland:
David Morrissey
Duchess of York:
Lindsay Duncan
Thomas Mowbray:
James Purefoy
Queen Isabella:
Clemence Poesy
Duke of Aumerle:
Tom Hughes
David Bradley
John of Gaunt:
Patrick Stewart
Abbot of Westminster:
Richard Bremmer
Lord Ross:
Peter De Jersey
Sir Stephen Scroop:
Tom Goodman-Hill
Sir Henry Green:
Harry Hadden-Paton
Sir John Bushy:
Ferdinand Kingsley
The Queen's Serving Lady:
Isabella Laughland
Lord Marshall:
Finbar Lynch
Bishop of Carlisle:
Lucian Msamati
Lord Willoughby:
Adrian Schiller
Gardener's Assistant:
Simon Trinder
Rupert Goold
Ben Power


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