A COMPLETIST ADDS HENRY VIII. I have posted from time to time about my efforts to complete seeing all of Shakespeare’s plays. I posted here last year just before I saw Two Gentlemen of Verona at Shakespeare on the Sound, which brought my total to 34 plays, out of 39 (if you count Edward III). Mary Jane has posted on her Shakespeare blog about how we had the good fortune of seeing a Shakespeare Society program in which actors from the Broadway cast of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Wolf Hall performed scenes from Henry VIII as readings and then discussed the scenes.
I am counting this performance as the equivalent of seeing the whole play. After all, I am the sole judge here. The readings and the discussion were superb, so that I had the experience of a full performance. Further, Henry VIII is an unusual play for Shakespeare in that it consists of a series of scenes which represent highlights of the reign of Henry VIII rather than a connected narrative. Seeing some of those highlights seems to me to a satisfactory representation of the play.
That leaves Coriolanus, Pericles, The Two Noble Kinsmen, and Edward III left to be seen.