As described by Mr. Gray "VILLAINOUS COMPANY tells the story of Hal, the young hellion who is to become Henry V, and his long-delayed choice between the values of his father, Henry IV, and those of his surrogate father, Jack Falstaff. Most of its material is drawn, of course, from Henry IV, parts One and Two. In an attempt to approximate Shakespeare's diction (and to ease the conscience of the adapter), the necessary additional material has been drawn wherever possible, from language, images and conceits in various of Shakespeare's other plays. Perhaps a fifth of the play is original, and the text has been revised throughout. The particular concerns of the adaptation are to make the plot clear—especially Hal's alternatives—and to emphasize that Falstaff, that feast of all the world's delights, the quickest and most deflationary mind in all the plays, is also an armed robber, an official who squeezes bribes from poor draftees, and a captain who leads his soldiers to their death so he can keep their pay."
A concise and ingenious adaptation of material drawn from Shakespeare's plays, which was commissioned by the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre for an enormously successful high school tour.