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Henry VI: Video Materials

A detailed description of Screenonline's nine video extracts

Main image of Henry VI: Video Materials

This is an annotated list of the video clips available for Shakespeare's Henry VI Parts I, II and III, listed in the order in which the scenes appear in the original plays.

To access individual clips, select the relevant production from the sidebar - each play has three clips, and the cast is listed in order of speaking part.

Clip 1 - Protector vs Bishop (3:38)

Part I, Act I, Scene 3: From "How now, ambitious Humphrey!" to "I myself fight not once in forty year".

Cast: Frank Middlemass (Bishop of Winchester), David Burke (Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester), Arthur Cox (Mayor of London), David Pugh (Mayor's officer)

Summary: In front of the Tower of London, the Duke of Gloucester and Bishop of Winchester have an argument that represents the growing gap between church and state. An example of director Jane Howell's deliberately non-naturalistic approach, as Gloucester and the Bishop are mounted on (or, more accurately, wearing) obviously fake horses.

Clip 2 - Talbot vs Joan (3:14)

Part I, Act I, Scene 5: from "Where is my strength, my valour, and my force?" to "As you fly from your oft-subdued slaves".

Cast: Trevor Peacock (Lord Talbot), Brenda Blethyn (Joan la Pucelle)

Summary: During a skirmish between English and French forces, Lord Talbot confronts Joan la Pucelle (i.e. Joan of Arc) and fights with her. She defeats him, but spares his life as she believes that he is not yet ready to die. This battle scene is typical of director Jane Howell's approach in the first play - playful, colourful, almost childish, with no real sense of danger. Later on, as the various English factions fight each other, things become much grimmer and bloodier.

Clip 3 - Red vs white (5:05)

Part I, Act II, Scene 4: from "Great lords and gentlemen, what means this silence?" to "Where false Plantagenet dare not be seen".

Cast: Bernard Hill (Richard Plantagenet), Paul Chapman (Earl of Suffolk), Brian Deacon (Earl of Somerset), Mark Wing-Davey (Earl of Warwick), David Daker (Vernon) and an uncredited Lawyer.

Summary: In London's Temple Garden, a legal debate turns into an important symbolic gesture, as the King's nobles divide into two opposing factions and choose a rose to identify their allegiance. Already, it is clear that there is no love lost between them, as a bitter argument breaks out between Plantagenet (the future Duke of York and father to Edward IV and Richard III) and the Earl of Somerset.

Clip 4 - Margaret vs Eleanor (4:14)

Part II, Act I, Scene 3: from "Beside the haughty protector" to "She shall not strike Dame Eleanor unrevenged".

Cast: Julia Foster (Queen Margaret), Paul Chapman (Earl of Suffolk), Peter Benson (King Henry VI), Bernard Hill (Duke of York), Brian Deacon (Earl of Somerset), Mark Wing-Davey (Earl of Warwick), Frank Middlemass (Cardinal of Winchester), David Daker (Duke of Buckingham), Tenniel Evans (Earl of Salisbury), David Burke (Duke of Gloucester), Anne Carroll (Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester)

Summary: Queen Margaret expresses various frustrations to her lover, Suffolk, before engineering a confrontation between herself and Eleanor, the Duchess of Gloucester (and wife of the Lord Protector), whom she feels is getting above herself. The scene also includes a vivid depiction of King Henry's powerlessness in the face of his squabbling nobles.

Clip 5 - A miracle! (4:14)

Part II, Act II, Scene 1: from "Stand by, my masters: bring him near the king" to "It made me laugh to see the villain run".

Cast: David Burke (Duke of Gloucester), Peter Benson (King Henry VI), Derek Fuke (Simpcox), Gabrielle Lloyd (Mrs Simpcox), Julia Foster (Queen Margaret), Frank Middlemass (Cardinal of Winchester), Paul Chapman (Earl of Suffolk) and an uncredited Mayor and Beadle.

Summary: A crowd approaches King Henry, proclaiming that a man, Simpcox, has had a miraculous recovery from blindness. The credulous Henry is happy to accept this as an excuse for praising God, but the sceptical Duke of Gloucester's cross-examination demonstrates that Simpcox is a fraud.

Clip 6 - Jack Cade's law (3:29)

Part II, Act IV, Scene 7: from "I have thought upon it, it shall be so" to "Away with him, he speaks Latin!"

Cast: Trevor Peacock (Jack Cade), Paul Jesson (John Holland), uncredited messenger, Derek Farr (Lord Say), David Burke (Dick the Butcher)

Summary: A scene that vividly and uncannily anticipates the worst excesses of 20th century revolutionary regimes, as Jack Cade announces his own Year Zero, accompanied by the destruction of all the realm's records and the persecution and execution of anyone with an education. This also demonstrates Jane Howell's approach to doubling, with Trevor Peacock and David Burke (previously Lord Talbot and the Duke of Gloucester) reappearing as their polar opposites.

Clip 7 - Henry's capitulation (3:37)

Part III, Act I, Scene 1: from "Plantagenet, why seek'st thou to depose me?" (lines added from the first Octavo edition, which lead into the First Folio's "Think'st thou that I will leave my kingly throne") to "In whose cold blood no spark of honour bides".

Cast: Peter Benson (King Henry VI), Mark Wing-Davey (Earl of Warwick), Bernard Hill (Duke of York), Derek Farr (Duke of Exeter), John Benfield (Earl of Northumberland), Oengus MacNamara (Young Clifford), Derek Fuke (Earl of Westmoreland), with Ron Cook (Richard of Gloucester) also present

Summary: King Henry, persuaded that his own claim to the throne is weak, agrees to appoint the Duke of York as his successor instead of his own son Prince Edward - to the fury of his followers.

Clip 8 - York's paper crown (3:37)

Part III, Act I, Scene 4: from "What! was it you that would be England's king?" to "And with the crown, his head".

Cast: Julia Foster (Queen Margaret), Bernard Hill (Duke of York)

Summary: Queen Margaret humiliates the captured Duke of York by forcing him to wear a tatty paper crown prior to his execution.

Clip 9 - Henry's murder (4:46)

Part III, Act V, Scene 6: from "Good day, my lord" to "I, that have neither pity, love, nor fear".

Cast: Ron Cook (Richard, Duke of Gloucester), Peter Benson (King Henry VI)

Summary: Much referred to in Richard III, this is the scene where Richard of Gloucester murders the deposed King Henry VI, though not before the latter has had a chance to tell him exactly what he thinks of him in terms that are unusually blunt by his normally meek standards.

Michael Brooke

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Henry VI Part I (1983)

The bright and gaudy first part of Jane Howell's acclaimed history cycle

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Henry VI Part II (1983)

As Henry's grip on power weakens, the Wars of the Roses begin in earnest

Thumbnail image of Henry VI Part III (1983)

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England is torn apart by civil war in the third part of Shakespeare's trilogy

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