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In rehearsal: Henry IV

Published 19 September 2014

When someone says Shakespeare, the last things you think of are Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Heat magazine, yet both were present in Phyllida Lloyd’s all-female Julius Caesar that brought a women’s prison to the Donmar Warehouse in 2012.

Almost two years later, as the Mamma Mia! director takes to the rehearsal room for her next woman-led production, Henry IV, there isn’t a single item of fried confectionary or gossip magazine in sight.

There are, however, a few familiar faces that were seen in the Bard’s tale about the Roman general in the original female-dominated show. Olivier Award winner Harriet Walter is one of them, taking on the role of King Henry alongside a cast that includes Cynthia Erivo, Clare Dunne and Sharon Rooney.

There is laughter, finger-pointing and what looks like a choreographed dance routine in these photographs from Helen Maybanks, who was lucky enough to sneak into the rehearsal room to see how the show’s cast members were settling into their roles.

Take a look at the gallery above to see Henry, Hal, Falstaff and co in action as they prepare to take audiences on a journey to the heart of family, honour and a fight for land. The production, which begins previews on 3 October, encompasses both Henry IV Part I and Part II to create a single narrative of the monumental history plays.

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