J O H N S T E V E N S O N
p r o d u c t i on d e s i g n
The Hollow Crown .
Henry VI part 1 and 2 And Richard III
Director : Dominic Cooke
Producer : Rupert Ryle-Hodges
Following his father's early death and the loss of possessions in France young Henry VI comes to the throne, under the protection of the duke of Gloucester. He is unaware that there are other claimants to the throne, Plantagent of York and Somerset of Lancaster, whose factions will ultimately cause the Wars of the Roses. Ignorant of the schisms Henry tries to unite them in the Hundred Years War, capturing Joan of Arc, before he marries Margaret of Anjou to unite England and France, but there is no dowry, angering the court. Margaret finds the pious Henry a dull husband and embarks upon an affair with Somerset as well as crossing Gloucester's wife Eleanor. When Gloucester is arrested for alleged treason because of Eleanor Henry is too feeble to prevent his death or the country slipping into civil war.
Five years on the country in is in the midst of civil war with Suffolk and Buckingham among the casualties at the battle of St Albans and the triumphant Plantagenet claiming the throne for the Yorkists. To avoid further bloodshed Henry agrees to make Plantagenrt his heir on his death, angering queen Margaret, who shocks her husband with a violent counter action. However the Yorkists triumph with Edward IV crowned king. Henry, descending into madness, is imprisoned in the Tower of London whilst Margaret and her son seek sanctuary in France. Yet Edward is not without his opponents, led by Margaret, whom he routs at the battle of Tewkesbury, aided by his brothers George, Duke of Clarence and Richard of Gloucester, a victory which will seal Henry's fate since Richard has ambitions of his own.
At Westminster, Richard speaks about his deformity, the evil plots he has laid, and the decadence at court.
George, brother to Richard and the king, is arrested during a birthday feast for Prince Edward and led away to the tower. King Edward takes ill and collapses at the end of the feast. Richard arranges for George's murder in the Tower of London.
King Edward makes one last effort to end family disputes, but Richard interrupts with the news of George's death. After Edward also dies, Richard starts to take control.
Rivers and Grey are executed for treason and Prince Edward and Prince Richard are sent to the Tower for safe keeping. After a council meeting, Hastings is also executed. Buckingham persuades the citizens of London to plead with Richard to take up the throne. Richard is crowned at Westminster Abbey with Anne as his queen. Unrewarded for his efforts, Buckingham distances himself from Richard and his regime. Now, without the support of his main henchman, Richard III hires Tyrell to murder the princes in the tower.
The Duke of Richmond and his supporters join forces to seize the crown and overthrow Richard. In his underground quarters at Westminster, Richard becomes isolated and paranoid. He takes Stanley's son hostage and arranges for the murder of Anne.
Richard is forced to lead his army to confront Richmond at Bosworth Field. Buckingham is executed for desertion.
Stanley joins forces with Richmond and Richard's army is outnumbered. Richmond delivers the fatal blow to Richard in single combat and Richmond is crowned Henry VII.
The Houses of York and Lancaster are united, the white rose with the red.