Who wants to play-read a history about an early-fifteenth-century English king? Well, I do, for one. Why? Loads of reasons: one of Shakespeare’s greatest characters – Falstaff; the comic scenes between Falstaff and Prince Hal, where they play an interview between Henry IV and Prince Hal; Henry IV’s great speeches, including his telling off of his son, Prince Hal. It’s a great play, mixing rebellion, battle, responsibilities of power, and humour.
If you decide to play-read Henry IV Part I, Players-Shakespeare.com provides playreading castings for 2 to 12 playreaders, plus the original casting as played by The Lord Chancellor’s Men for 22 – if you can get 22 players together. We like to make sure that the smallest part is 100 lines or more, and with 10 playreaders, we’re just about there, so 8 to 10 players (in case you have 1 or 2 no-shows on the day of the reading) seems the best. You’ll find these castings in the index which is on the right for laptops and most tablets in landscape mode, and after this post on smartphones and most tablets in portrait form.
Each player needs their own tablet, smartphone, or laptop, with a web browser. The experience is probably best on a tablet, then a smartphone, and then a laptop. The main advantages of the tablet and smartphone are: the touchscreen which makes scrolling easier, and the full-screen presentation of the text.
Each player needs to select one of the roles to play, from the cast list page, selected from the index. Clicking on the link for their player no. will take them to a script of the play which shows their role(s) in Highlit Text (their lines are highlit in a colour; other speakers lines are shown in conventional black on white). Each player can choose to change to Parts and Cues format if they wish.
When everyone has selected their role, let the reading commence.
If you want to understand better how to use our MFFEV5 CloudReader, read:
- Preparing Malvolio for Performance using MFFEV5 CloudReader and Parts and Cues
Don’t forget – for feedback on the MFFEV5, post at Player-Shakespeare.com’s Facebook page
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If you are using, or thinking of using, Players-Shakespeare.com’s edition of Shakespeare’s plays for production rehearsals or play-reading, why don’t you ask to become a member of our Support for Playreading & Productions Closed FB group?