June 13 - August 31, 1986, RICHARD II played at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego, California. In this William Shakespeare piece, James Morrison played Henry Percy.

In the presence of King Richard, Henry Bolingbroke (Richard's cousin and John Gaunt's son) accuses Mowbray, Duke of Norfork, of misusing royal funds and plotting another royal's death. Mowbray retorts by calling Bolingbroke a traitor. A trial by combat is arranged, but as it begins Richard stops it and banishes both men from England. Richard is about to set off to quell an Irish rebellion when he is called to the dying Gaunt's bedside.

When Gaunt dies, Richard seizes all his properties -- despite the protests of Edmund, the Duke of York, that they rightfully belong to the exiled Bolingbroke. Richard ignores Edmund's warnings and impudently leaves for Ireland. Soon afterward, it is revealed that Bolingbroke, who himself has a large following in England, has set sail for his homeland.

richard2a.jpg (20587 bytes) The Queen receives news that he's arrived and has already been joined by the Earl of Northumberland, his son Henry Percy, Lord Ross and Lord Willoughby. Upset by this news, Edmund (regent in Richard's absence) leaves for Berkeley Castle in Gloucester-shire. There, Bolingbroke explains to York, who has insufficient power to withstand him, that he's come to claim his inheritance. Richard's troops, fearing the King dead in Ireland, disband.

It is at Bristol that Bolingbroke starts to explore his power even as Richard lands in Wales. Richard, certain that the upstart Bolingbroke will be suppressed, soon learns from Earl of Salisbury and Sir Stephen Scroop that his own men have deserted him. In despair, Richard seeks refuge in Flint Castle, where Bolingbroke finds him and promises to disperse his forces if Richard revokes his banishment and restores his Lancastrian lands. Richard, lamenting his loss of royal authority, agrees.

Despite the Cardinal's protests that no mere man can judge a king, Bolingbroke insists on this -- then ascends the throne himself. Richard gives up the insignia of state to Bolingbroke, and then, distraught, Richard is taken to the Tower of London. Because usurpation of a birthright inheritance is seen as a crime, traitorous and obscene, the Bishop of Carlisle, the Abbot of Westminster, and Aumerle now plot to kill Bolingbroke.

Faithful to the new King, the Duke of York -- who's discovered his son Aumerle is involved in this plot -- leaves for Windsor to warn Bolingbroke; however, Aumerle arrives first and asks for pardon. Aumerle is pardoned, but not the Bishop and the Abbot.

In the Tower, Sir Pierce of Exton -- believing Bolingbroke wants Richard dead -- and finding him imprisoned, murders Richard. Bolingbroke, now Henry IV, usually rewards the executioners of his opponents. Only Exton is repudiated by Henry, who realizes he cannot love or reward Richard's murderer. Even more, to expiate for this tragedy, King Henry determines to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Synopsized from Richard II play program.

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