Ian McKellen Stage
Frank Greene
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HENRY IV PART 2 (1956)

Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Frank Greene
Ian McKellen in the role of Prince Hal
Bolton School
19 March 1956 - 24 March 1956

Words from Ian McKellen

It was thrilling to discover as a teenager what is now, perhaps, my favourite of Shakespeare's plays. The range of the people and their language is wide, as if an entire nation inhabits the stage. Acting Prince Hal, I learnt a bit about breath control and how to keep woollen leggings tight, with the aid of a large copper penny twisted into the waistband. Frank Greene, the senior English master, chose the School Play and directed it over a couple of months of post-school rehearsals. He was a stickler for enunciation - ‘It's soldyar not sodger, McKellen' - and curbed a little our Lancashire accent of broad vowels and dropped aitches. He usefully corrected my habit of standing with one foot resting on the side rather than the instep. Characterisation was not much delved into.

Norman Davies (Clarence) is author of "Europe", "The Isles" and other classic, readable, history tomes. — Ian McKellen, December 2006
Comments and Reviews
"I very much liked, too, I. M. McKellen's Prince Hal, which grew in stature throughout the evening, so making is eventual change of heartmore credible." - Bolton Evening News, 21 March, 1956