HPNA Shakespeare in the Park - Edward III

  • 21 Jul 2016
  • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • hamilton park


Synopsis:

Its dark ages England and career warrior King Edward III entertains Artois, a traitorous Frenchman. Artois describes how
Edward is the true king of France. The French ambassador Lorraine brings a message from the French king demanding
Edward’s allegiance. After a near brawl in his chamber, Edward declares war on France however, before he can mount
an invasion news also arrives of fresh invasions by the Scots King David, whose is attacking the castle the Countess of
Salisbury. Edward mounts a rescue expedition to the Countess.

As the Countess holds out against a siege of her castle, King David and his fellow Scotsman Douglas comically argue
who shoudl get the Countess and her fortune but flee as they hear of Edward's arrival. Edward and his teenage son,
Prince Ned, arrive ready for battle but find none and the King is taken with the beautiful and fiery Countess. The
tongue tied King seeks to leave as he and the Countess are married to other people but the flirty Countess persuades
the king to stay. The army and Countess household celebrate the retreat of the Scots with a raucous party where the
attraction between the Countess and King continues to build. Edward asks his secretary Lodowick to write her a
courtship letter on his behalf. Despite a mutual attraction between the two, the Countess rebuffs Edward’s advances
and she reminds him of their marriage oaths to their respective spouses. Edward not taking no for an answer demands
that her father Warwick act as an mediator to state his feelings for the Countess. Warwick reluctantly agrees, but is
delighted when she maintains her opposition. However, caught between the love of king and her marriage oath, the
Countess considers extreme measures to resolve her situation.

Despite receiving good news of a growing army ready to invade France, Edward can only think of the Countess until
his son reminds him of his duty. The Countess approaches him and tries to trick the king into not pursuing her.
Edward comes to his senses and expresses respect for her courage, and leaves immediately for France.

The snarky and mustache twirling French King John and his son Charles meet to discuss the English invasion by sea.
Both assume their forces can easily rebuff the English but the French are defeated at sea. They then regroup on land
and meet with Edward and Prince Ned on the field of Crécy. The two parties trade barbs and prepare to do battle. Ned
is given new armour as a battlefield promotion to knight at arms but he must first prove himself in battle before getting
the full knighthood. However during the battle Ned and his captain Audley are separated and surrounded by French
forces. Edward knows his son must prove himself a leader and marches on to take the strategic city of Calais.

Prince Edward and Audley find themselves surrounded, but they reject two sarcastic French offers to yield. While it
seems the French army will be victorious, they are haunted by strange prophecy that ravens will devour their army and
they will be defeated. Despite the odds, Ned and Audley mount a rousing final battle to defeat the French and capture
King John and his son.

Meanwhile, Edward has arrived at Calais, and captured the city. Prince Ned arrives with the French prisoners and
receives his knighthood. All parties then return to England.

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