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2010 - The Merry Wives of Windsor

Wellington’s favourite summer theatre event returns in its 27th year with a rare chance to see one of the weirdest, funniest, and most obscure of the Bard’s comedies, Sir John Falstaff and the Merry Wives of Windsor.  It’s nearly 50 years since there was last a proper production in Wellington of the play rumoured to have been commissioned by Queen Elizabeth the First herself – so popular was Shakespeare’s famous drunken knight in his day that the Queen, or so the story goes, asked Will to write a spin-off play that showed Falstaff in love.

Feeling the pinch of the recession, poor Falstaff is reduced to living in a Windsor hotel and downsizing his entourage.  It’s the wedding day of Mr and Mrs Ford, and fast-approaching the day that Mr and Mrs Page’s daughter Anne inherits her grandfather’s substantial fortune.  While several prospective husbands hope to marry Anne, Falstaff hits on a new money-making venture: he decides to woo both Mrs Page and Mrs Ford at the same time, intending to steal their husbands’ wealth and restore himself to glory.  But when both Mrs Page and Mrs Ford get wind of his plans, he becomes their unwilling prank-monkey in a series of increasingly bizarre attempts at seducing them right under the nose of Mrs Ford’s insanely jealous husband.  The Merry Wives of Windsor is one of Shakespeare’s most ridiculous and accessible comedies – it’s kind-of a cross between Fawlty Towers, Black Books, Blackadder and your average episode of The Simpsons, only everyone speaks Elizabethan English and at the end a comic Frenchman accidentally marries a boy.

When: February 4 – 27 2010

Where: Gladstone Vineyard, Studio 77 Amphitheatre

Director David Lawrence

Producer Alison Walls

Production Manager Paul Tozer

Stage Manager Manda Smith

Lighting Design Nigel Percy

Lighting Operator Paul Tozer

Set Design Rose Morrison

Set Construction Paul Tozer, Cameron Lithgow, Mikey Blockley

Graphic Design Santa’s Little Helper

Music composed by David Lawrence

Costumes Marly Doyle, Lisa Bass

Marketing Manager Adrianne Roberts


George Page (a moderately wealthy citizen) Ralph Upton

Meg Page (his wife) Louise Burston

Anne Page (their daughter) Alice Pearce

William Page (their son) Bailey McCormack

Frank Ford (an extremely wealthy citizen) Daniel Watterson

Alice Ford (his wife) Laura Feslier

Sir John Falstaff (an impoverished knight) Benjamin Haddock

Robin (his page) Dominic McElwee

Bardolph (a thief) Tamas Molnar

Pistol (a grifter) Vicky Roper

Nym (a cony-catcher) Helen Sims

The Host of the Garter Inn (a hotelier) Kirsty Bruce

The Host’s staff Shannon Tubman, Bailey McCormack, Alice Pearce, James Barber, Daniel Watterson

Sir Hugh Evans (a Welsh Parson) Melanie Camp

Robert Shallow (a Justice of the Peace) James Barber

Abraham Slender (Shallow’s nephew, in love with Anne Page) Michael Pohl

Peter Simple (Slender’s servant) Eleanor Stewart

Dr Caius (a French physician, in love with Anne Page) Florence Mato

Nell Quickly (Dr Caius’ housekeeper) Jessica Aaltonen

John Rugby (Dr Caius’ servant) Ngahiriwa Rauhina

Fenton (an impoverished gentleman, in love with Anne Page) Blair Everson

Servants, Townsfolk, Onlookers, Musicians, Fairies, Meatpuppets played by members of the company


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