A return to live theatre is well marked by these vibrant open-air productions of Henry V and The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Roman Theatre of Verulamium in St Albans.
Shakespeare’s Globe has announced its summer season 2019. The celebration and interrogation of ‘our sceptred isle’ through Shakespeare’s history plays continues with Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, and Henry V, while elsewhere there is A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Ben Jonson’s Bartholomew Fair, and the return of 2018’s As You Like It.
The Merry Wives of Windsor is often looked-down-upon as a casual piece of throwaway entertainment lacking substance or serious intent, with little for scholars to get their teeth into. However, this is a play whose time is surely coming again.
Returning to the RSC and the Barbican for The Merry Wives of Windsor after his triumph in Titus Andronicus last year is David Troughton as the drunken and self-proclaimed womaniser, Falstaff, his caricaturesque performance mirroring the cartoony nature of the plot, characters, script and direction.
Opening in London this month is the transfer of the NT’s Nine Night (now at Trafalgar Studios), Jailbirds at the Etcetera Theatre, Pinocchio at The Albany, One For The Road at the Rosemary Branch, Orpheus at Battersea Arts Centre and Pinter 5 & 6 will arrive at the Harold Pinter Theatre.
The estuary accents, Dolce & Gabbana leggings, bling and selfies are a bit of a giveaway that Fiona Laird’s production of cheeky Shakespearean comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor is geographically dubious.
A great pleasure of Fiona Laird’s production of The Merry Wives of Windsor, ceaselessly funny and over-the-top, is that it reminds you that Shakespeare is the honoured ancestor of a hundred sitcoms.
Though at the moment it looks quiet, I have finally got a draft schedule together for my time in Edinburgh, and it seems as if my plan to ease myself in has just gone out of the window… It’s going to be a hectic week for me up there, but it has to be done!
Later this year, the three Shakespeare productions from the Royal Shakespeare Company’s current Stratford-upon-Avon season this spring will transfer into the Barbican Theatre from October.
I get rather drawn to the stats page of the blog at times. But it’s always interesting to see the search terms that bring people here – and which posts get the most hits!