The Merry Wives – Cheltenham Everyman REVIEW

On Saturday 23rd of April, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death with be celebrated. On Thursday 21st April the Queen will celebrate her 90th birthday. What better way to commemorate both of these than a visit to see a play written by William Shakespeare referencing Windsor Castle where the Queen will be partying on her special day.

The Merry Wives of Windsor is a play that has managed to slip by me unstudied, despite years of Drama and English lessons. So I thought I’d let the story stand alone and not research before going to see the play. I am certainly glad I did. My ear quickly adapted to the Shakespearean English and the story was easy to follow. You could have worn earplugs and still been able to follow the play due to the physical humour and storytelling from a cast of powerful actors and actresses.

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The play managed to be lighthearted yet with a heavy dosage of humour, with constant giggles thanks to clever costumes, witty writing, physical slapstick comedy and breaking of the fourth wall which included showering the first 6 rows in laundry. The energy throughout the play did not lack for a single second, keeping the audience fulling engaged.

The Northern Broadsides Theatre company kept the play (which only took William a fortnight to write) true to the classic Shakespeare form with identifiable elements such as a big love triangle, a backseat romance, an antihero and of course an “all’s well that ends well” happy conclusion.

I’ll finish this review with a comment I heard in the interval. “Very consumable, nicely framed with great use of staging intricate characters and costumes.”

I may have been eavesdropping but I can’t help but agree.

 

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