The story so far: Richard has banished his cousin, Henry of Bolingbroke. Henry's father, John of Gaunt, then dies. By right of succession, John's wealth and property should be inherited by Henry, but Richard is short of cash to finance his war against the rebels in Ireland (there are always rebels in Ireland), so he seizes all of Henry's inheritance. He then leaves for Ireland. This is very rude and makes lots of people upset.
A word of warning: I've been referring to Henry of Bolingbroke as "Bolingbroke" throughout this endeavor, as that is what he's called most of the time. However, he is also, on occasion, referred to as "Hereford", because he's the Duke of Hereford. So if you see the play and people start going on about Hereford, that's who they're talking about. Don't blame me. It wasn't my idea.
One to watch: Harry Percy (not be confused with his father Northumberland, whose real name is also Harry Percy - but I digress) is pretty much a bit player in Richard II, but he shows up again as the star in Henry IV, part 1. By then he has acquired a really awesome nickname: Hotspur. (Yes, as in Tottenham Hotspur. )
And that wraps up Act 2! Tune in again tomorrow, when Richard comes back from Ireland to find his kingdom might not actually be his kingdom anymore. Oooooo, major drama there, folks.