Henry IV

"When you cut Shakespeare, he bleeds," my high-school drama teacher used to say, but I’ve always found that all of the Bard’s plays are improved with a little judicial pruning. (You doubt me? Watch Kenneth Branagh’s uncut Hamlet for a wonderfully sound snooze.) Still, it’s pretty daring to shove two of his best plays into one script as adapter Daikin Matthews has attempted for this Seattle Shakespeare Company production, particularly when there’s a bewildering amount of battles, intrigues, and minor characters in both texts already. But thankfully director Stephanie Shine has a trio of strong actors as her leads: star-on-the-rise Tim Gouran as Prince Hal, the always-intriguing David Pichette as King Henry, and Richard Ziman as the Bard’s greatest comic creation, the rascally Falstaff. —John Longenbaugh Mostly 7:30 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun.; see Web site for exact schedule. Ends Nov. 16. *Come in costume on Halloween and get in for $10.

Tue., Oct. 21, 7:30 p.m.; Wed., Oct. 22, 7:30 p.m.; Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Oct. 21. Continues through Nov. 16, 2008

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