As far as I knew it, the plot of The Merry Wives was (to paraphrase Elizabeth I) laughs and a bit with a box. Falstaff and some wives? Of Windsor? Who are merry? Well, none of that is an inaccurate description for a play that is even more frothy than Twelfth Night and more contrived than Cymbeline…
Barbican – Silk Street Theatre
Photo by Johan Persson
This production was by Cheek by Jowl, a company known for the strength of their ensemble casts*, their international tours (and producing plays in a number of languages) and for their production of The Winter’s Tale which has been on in St Petersburg for 20 years. This is not that production.
I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoyed Cymbeline, and of my intention to go and see something in Emma Rice’s first season at the Globe. So the two came together quite naturally when she announced the season would include a production of Cymbeline, “renamed and reclaimed” for Imogen, the king’s daughter who is the real heroine of the piece*.
Grays Inn Hall (Antic Disposition)
This was a bit of a last minute one for me – I don’t know when I booked the tickets but I’d managed to forget I was going. And if I’d missed out that would have been a real shame*.
Richard III is another one of these plays I will keep coming back to again and again – not just because it is put on so frequently, but also because I really love the number of possible interpretations which can be placed on Richard’s character.
Photograph by Alastair Muir
Iris Theatre – St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden
I’m not going to tell you the plot again – you should all jolly well be up to speed by now (links) – and you also shouldn’t need me to tell you what Iris is about either. It was a good night for it – warm enough to make the Pimm’s feel like a good idea, not quite as hot and sweaty as Richard III.
The Rose Playhouse
I’m not sure whether to review this as a play, or what it really was – a joyous celebration.