Henry the Fourth, part One
In the previous play, Richard the Second, Bolingbroke usurped the crown and became Henry the Fourth. He seems to have had Richard killed, and is now having a pretty crummy time being king—darn it, noblemen are asking him to honor the bargains he made with them. And his son, Prince Hal (future Henry the Fifth) is a sly rascal who hangs out in taverns. We have fathers and sons and father-figures galore.
If your group reads the plays straight through in one sitting and you want to divide up the parts, we have a number of “cast” lists already divided up for you. These are text files that you edit to suit your group. We always recommend in a straight-through read that each participant take a moment beforehand to mark their parts—then everything proceeds so smoothly.
For those of you who provide parts a scene at a time, this Character Chart shows all the characters' lines in each scene: First part of Henry the Fourth
For some great short articles on related info such as the original chronicles from Holinshed, Stow, and Hall, a couple of related plays of Shakespeare's time, and more, see the University of Virginia Internet Shakespeare site.
Our ISC Readers’ Edition:
This is an audio recording of the play by professional actors with sound effects:
Edited-for-film versions of the Henriad, four discs: Richard the Second, Henry the Fourth parts One and Two, and Henry the Fifth