Well, after waiting nearly two years, we finally get to see the Hollow Crown, hitherto only available to view in snippets on You Tube and in Europe--not that watching Harry (Tom Hiddleston) strut around Jolly Olde England to the tune of "London Calling," but it is not, after all Shakespeare!
First out of the pen is Richard II, not one of Shakespeare's best loved plays, and for good reason. Ben Whishaw plays Richard, whom Shakespeare portrays as a king who was not playing with a full deck. Despite this play not being one of the Bard's big hits, it has several notable soliloquies nonetheless. My favorite, and one which could easily apply to the Game of Thrones begins "Let us sit on the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings..." It has been played straight and it has also been played for laughs: here Ben more or less plays the speech down the center, which is OK but I don't think really was all that stellar. Probably Trekkies will enjoy Captain Picard as John of Gaunt reciting "This England." On You Tube you can also find Sir John Gilgud doing the same scene: I leave it up to the viewer to decide who did it better.
Far more popular is Henry IV Part 1; not only do we get young Prince Harry but the classic clown Falstaff, both done to a T by Tom Hiddleston (Loki for you Marvel movie fans) and Simon Russell Beale. Beale won the British Emmy, the Bafta, for his performance. This episode not only is more cinematic, with especially well done battle scenes, it also has Mrs. Weasley (Julie Walters) who proves she can not only do a convincing wench but also that she is not a Ginger! Seriously, though Henry IV Part 1 rocks and can only wet our appetite for the next two plays. More anon, dear readers.