Stratford Festival presents

The Merry Wives of Windsor


Pursuing two respectably married women at the same time, a would-be seducer fails to anticipate that his targets will, quite literally, compare notes. Nor has he reckoned on the mischievous spirit in which the wives will use their wits and wiles to teach him the error of his ways.

Set in the 1950s, in a town not unlike Stratford, Ontario, this production brings Shakespeare’s rollicking comedy close to home – and close to our hearts.

“Delightfully funny from beginning to end.” Broadway World

In the largely middle-class community of Windsor, Sir John Falstaff, an impoverished and disreputable aristocrat, has drawn the ire of a local justice of the peace, Robert Shallow, who is threatening to take him to court. Seeking to divert Shallow from this extreme course of action, the Welsh parson Hugh Evans suggests that he turn his energies instead to arranging a marriage between his nephew, Abraham Slender, and the beautiful young Anne Page. Though Anne’s father, George Page, approves of such a match, her mother, Mrs. Page, favours the rival suit of a Frenchman, Doctor Caius. Anne herself wants neither Slender nor Caius: her heart is set on a young man named Fenton. Falstaff, meanwhile, hopes to amend his fortunes by courting the favours of two married women, Mrs. Page and her friend Mrs. Ford, to whom he sends identical love letters. Having compared notes, the two wives plan revenge by leading their would-be seducer on, only to humiliate him. It’s a dangerous game they play, though – particularly when Mrs. Ford’s husband, Frank, learning of Falstaff’s nefarious intentions toward his wife, starts setting traps of his own.

YouTube watch party: Thursday, January 21, at 7 pm EST (streaming free for 36 hours).

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