The Arts

The Merry Wives of Windsor

The Merry Wives of Windsor featured image

Reviewed by Paula Citron

The Merry Wives of Windsor
Stratford Shakespeare Festival
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Frank Galati
Performed by Geraint Wyn Davies, Laura Condlln, Lucy Peacock, Tom Rooney, Tom McCamus and James Blendick
Festival Theatre
May 10 to Aug. 14, 2011

The Stratford production of The Merry Wives of Windsor is a mixed bag of goodies. The show is directed by Chicago-based Frank Galati.

Now the Americans in general don’t have a long track record of sensational Shakespeare, so it begs the question of why Galati for Merry Wives. He clearly has trouble with positioning on the thrust stage and illogical exits and entrances. As well, not enough is done with diction.

On the other hand, Galati has come up with interesting character details, for example, Falstaff performed by Geraint Wyn Davies. His Sir John is intelligent and conniving, not a ridiculous buffoon. Yes he does get laughs in terms of his size and physical theatre, but he is a knight after all.

Laura Condlln and Lucy Peacock are wonderful as the Merry Wives, as are Tom McCamus and Tom Rooney as their husbands. The secondary characters are also strong.

The Merry Wives of Windsor continues at Stratford’s Festival Theatre until Oct. 14.

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