Ruth Leon recommends… The Merry Wives of Windsor – Digital Theatre

Ruth Leon recommends…  The Merry Wives of Windsor – Digital Theatre

The Merry Wives of Windsor – Digital Theatre

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The Merry Wives of Windsor is the only Shakespeare play which is set in his own time with characters who would have been familiar to his contemporary English middle-class audience.

The tradition goes that Shakespeare wrote it at the personal request of Queen Elizabeth 1 who, having enjoyed Henry 1V, Part One, asked for another play featuring Sir John Falstaff, the fat knight first seen in the two parts of Henry 1V. This time, she specified, she wanted to see Falstaff in love.

Imagine being able to order up a play from Shakespeare.

Written in 1597, in something of a hurry to fulfill Her Majesty’s commission, its themes of love and marriage, jealousy and revenge, social class and wealth give it a contemporary relevance, but, although it is not one of Shakespeare’s great plays, it is still very funny.

This contemporary production from the Royal Shakespeare Company relocates Shakespeare’s tale of love and jealousy to Essex as two merry wives seek revenge on Sir John Falstaff. Captured live in Stratford-upon-Avon, Fiona Laird’s  RSC debut with Lez Brotherston’s bold and colourful set design transports this much-loved comedy into the 21st century. 

Digital Theatre allows you to subscribe to their online shows annually or monthly,  or to rent an individual play for £7.99 for 48hours.

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