Falstaff set to seduce audiences again

Katherine Senior as Mistress Page, Jonathan Parish as Master Page, Jack Hulland as Falstaff and Jack Wharrier as Master Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor which is coming to Eastbourne

Katherine Senior as Mistress Page, Jonathan Parish as Master Page, Jack Hulland as Falstaff and Jack Wharrier as Master Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor which is coming to Eastbourne

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One of Shakespeare’s best loved comic characters, Sir John Falstaff, is once again set to seduce audiences around the country in a glorious production of The Merry Wives of Windsor.

Touring venues around the UK, the play comes to the Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne from 24-26 October.

The play is presented by Creative Cow, in association with Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre.

It is said that when Queen Elizabeth I saw Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, she laughed so much at the character of Sir John Falstaff she ordered his continued existence at her court!

The result was The Merry Wives of Windsor, a play that provides audiences with generous helpings of wit, broad farce, trickery and true love.

Less often performed than some of Shakespeare’s comedies, the current tour provides a welcome opportunity to see this fast-paced and consummately skilled production by fresh young theatre company, Creative Cow.

The plot is built around the puffed up and degenerate Sir John Falstaff, a Knight of the Garter, who is seized with the outrageous idea that to seduce two of Windsor’s wealthy merry wives will prove his virility and give him access to their money.

The assignations are made, but with female cunning and a devilish plot involving their husbands, Falstaff is repeatedly tricked by the women.

He is hidden in a laundry basket full of dirty washing and thrown into the Thames. He is further duped and terrified in the eerie moonlit shadows of a blasted oak in Windsor Great Park to which he is lured by a band of ruthless townsfolk seeking to revel in the old man’s misery. Meanwhile, the beautiful daughter of one of the ‘merry wives’ must employ her own brand of trickery to attain true love.

Says actor and founder member of Creative Cow Theatre Company, Katherine Senior, “When we toured another great farce, ‘Charley’s Aunt’, earlier in the year, it became clear how much our audiences in Eastbourne enjoyed re-visiting a great and – perhaps sadly – less often performed comedy.

So this is another helping. We hope our audiences will have even more fun being entertained by it than we’ve had rehearsing and producing it.”

This “most excellent and conceited comedie ..intermixed with sundrie variable and pleasing humours” - The Merry Wives of Windsor - can be seen at the Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne between 24-26 October.

For tickets and more information, contact the box office Box Office 01323 412000, www.eastbournetheatres.co.uk