For those wondering how these Raleigh upstarts were going to condense the 2012 BBC Shakespearean series into a single evening, a word of clarification: Long before director Sam Mendes was a glitter in his cinematographer's eye, English dramatist John Barton cut-and-pasted his way to glory in this 1961 omnibus of the same name for the Royal Shakespeare Company. He edited a collection of speeches and documents left behind by the truly original cast—including William the Conqueror, Henry VIII, James I and Queen Victoria—for the stage. He generously leavens these with period music and the observations of throne-watchers like Thomas Malory, Shakespeare and a 15-year-old Jane Austen (who apparently had a thing for Mary, Queen of Scots at the time). Alison Davis and Linda Depo direct the free hiSTORYstage production in Durham this weekend before the show relocates to Cary next week. The cast includes Heather Shore, Patrick Berry, Roberto Bricchi and Clint Lienau.