Crediton Arts Centre is perhaps best known for its outdoor Shakespeare productions which were performed in the town square every other summer. After a year of cancelled shows, the Arts Centre actors and musicians are back in action with their joyful open air production of the Merry Wives of Windsor, which will be touring in and around Crediton over the next few weeks. Set in the 1920s, with an Art Deco set and a cast of larger-than-life characters, the play is a hilarious farce guaranteed to entertain all ages, as director Jack Robson reports.
The rogue knight Falstaff is in love…with two women! Or is he? Perhaps he is just, once again, looking out for the main chance, on the make, tricking and conning his way to someone else’s wealth and property. Shakespeare’s only comedy set in England, this clever and funny play is one of his cleverest, with elements of farce, intrigue, revenge, fairy magic and a hint of tragic sentimentalism mixed in.
The characters are amongst the best-drawn in the canon - Falstaff’s lazy rapscallion followers Bardolph, Nym and Pistol; the two husbands, jealous and suspicious Frank Ford contrasting with faithful and trusting George Page; the faded gentry of Shallow and Slender; the mischievous Host of the Garter Inn; the thwarted young lovers Anne and Fenton; gentle Mistress Quickly, who wants to help everyone; the cartoonish Welsh priest Evans and outlandish Frenchman Dr Caius, each mangling the English language in their own unique way; the Merry Wives, Alice and Meg, sister tricksters in mind and soul; and Sir John Falstaff, the con-man conned, the hunter turned prey, his come-uppance all the sweeter for his knavish arrogance.
The Merry Wives of Windsor tour begins in Cheriton Fitzpaine on 26 June and then goes to Sandford, Crediton, Newton St Cyres and Colebrooke.
£5, children under 12 free. Tickets available online.
Please bring blankets or folding chairs to sit on. Social distancing should be observed where appropriate.
Saturday 26 June 4pm Jack's Acre, Cheriton Fitzpaine
Sunday 27 June 3pm Millennium Green, Sandford
Friday 2 July 7pm Newcombe's Meadow, Crediton Friday
Saturday 3 July 4pm Newcombe's Meadow, Crediton
Sunday 4 July 2.30pm Newcombe's Meadow, Crediton
Saturday 10 July 3pm Newton St Cyres Arboretum - SOLD OUT
Sunday 11 July 3pm Colebrooke Church car park
Shakespeare in the Square
The Merry Wives of Windsor is the latest in the Arts Centre’s long running series of outdoor Shakespeare productions which began in 1995, when Henry IV Part 1 was performed in the Town Council car park in the centre of Crediton. The success of this, and subsequent productions, played a part in the creation of the new Town Square in 2003 which replaced the car park and has become a popular meeting place and the site for many community events.
For more information about Crediton Arts Centre visit our website.