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William Shakespeare's

The Merry Wives of Windsor (2019)

May 11th - October 26thFestival TheatreTicket Info
Generally Positive Reviews based on 8 Critics
  • top 91% of shows in the 2019 season
8 Reviews

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This is a listing for the 2019 season. For the current 2023 shows click here.

Now Magazine - Glenn Sumi

Farcical shenanigans

“The performances range from gently mocking (Wilson and Walker, both having fun) to wildly, intentionally overdone. Gordon S. Miller’s ridiculous Dr. Caius, one of Anne’s unlikely suitors, evokes Peter Sellers’s Inspector Clouseau. And I’m not sure what kind of accent Ben Carlson affects as Sir Hugh Evans, but it doesn’t sound Welsh.

Abbey and Davies, both fine serious actors, are up for the farcical shenanigans, including the play’s most famous sequence involving a laundry hamper.

Abbey’s anger and suspicion suggest some darker aspects to the Fords’ marriage, while Davies goes through the play with a child-like innocence that’s rather endearing. “

Read Full Review08/16/2019

Stage Door - Christopher Hoile

A keen understanding of...

“The current Stratford Festival production of The Merry Wives of Windsor is the company’s best since Bernard Hopkins’s marvellous production in 1990 starring James Blendick. Geraint Wyn Davies gives a more richly humorous and detailed performance as Falstaff than he did when Stratford last presented the play in 2011. And director Antoni Cimolino has achieved the rare feat of giving us the sense that all the characters on stage belong to a single community where everyone knows everyone else. What stays with you more than any one performance is the feeling of having shared in the group experience of this delightful populace of eccentrics…

on the whole, this production shows a keen understanding of what is best in Shakespeare’s comedy and imaginatively brings the whole world of the play to vivid life.”

Read Full Review06/07/2019

The Globe and Mail - J. Kelly Nestruck

Much wiser, less romanticized

“On the first night of the repertory theatre’s opening week, I watched company member Michael Blake trod the thrust stage of the Festival Theatre as that most horribly jealous of Shakespearean characters, Othello.

Then, five nights later, on the same stage, I got to see Blake play Mr. Page, the most trusting husband in the canon, in The Merry Wives of Windsor.

The juxtaposition led me to the surprising conclusion that the latter, less-performed Shakespeare is a much wiser, less romanticized show about jealousy or what Iago calls the “green-eyed monster.”

Read Full Review06/03/2019

Broadway World - Lauren Gienow

Funny from beginning to end

“The music used in this play is original, with compositions by Berthold Carrière and lyrics by Marion Adler, but each song is cleverly familiar enough to a classic hit that it works very well to firmly place this play in the 1950’s. It was also fun to hear some familiar voices from the Festival’s company singing the various tracks!…

Overall, this play was delightfully funny from beginning to end. The audience roared with laughter on many occasions and everyone seemed to leave with smiles on their faces.”

Read Full Review06/02/2019

The Stratford Beacon Herald - Bruce Urquhart

A hilarious celebration of Stratford

“Designer Julie Fox has fun making the connections between this production and the imagined Stratford of 1953, with swan-shaped flower boxes, tidy brick houses and a tavern that serves stubbies. It’s a picture-postcard version of a “town not unlike Stratford” and one that seems ready to be changed by the stage.

By embracing the play’s exaggerations and unruliness, and enfolding it in the idyll of an imagined Stratford, Cimolino, cast and crew have penned a more convincing love letter than that of their play’s failed Lothario. As a hilarious celebration of Stratford and its own embrace of the theatre, The Merry Wives of Windsor is merry indeed.”

Read Full Review06/03/2019

Entertain This Thought - Mary Alderson

Gordon S. Miller is uproarious

“Gordon S. Miller is uproarious as Dr. Caius, a Frenchman with a penchant for fencing. His accent is reminiscent of Inspector Clouseau in the old Pink Panther movies. Miller exaggerates the accent, the physical comedy and his fencing garb to great hilarity. The only concern is the difficulty in understanding his over-the-top accent.

Graham Abbey as Mr. Ford is the ludicrous husband, convinced he’s a cuckold. Abbey adds to the humour when he disguises himself with a fake mustache to obtain information from Falstaff.”

Read Full Review06/03/2019

Toronto Star - Carly Maga

Designer Julie Fox’s delectable...

“On top of Julie Fox’s delectable ’50s palette of pastels, silk, knit cardigans and tweed suits are Easter eggs you’ll recognize from outside the Festival Theatre walls: flower boxes in the shape of white swans and a white house with dark wood beams that can be spotted next to Scooper’s Ice Cream shop. It’s an idyllic setting that Cimolino’s staging, Fox’s design and Jason Hand’s lighting pull from a storybook and filter through a British farce…

Simple Merry Wives might be, but here it gets the uproar it aims for. Cimolino’s production milks every possible joke in the script…”

Read Full Review06/03/2019

James Wegg Review - James Wegg

Too broad by half

“For my taste, but certainly not the majority of the patrons, the humour quotient was too broad by half: so much physical comedy produced the expected arrival of The Three Stooges, John Cleese at his silly walk best or even a cameo from Lucille Ball.

An overabundance of farce spoiled the Bard’s biting satire, but a viewing, nonetheless, is still recommended.”

Read Full Review06/02/2019

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