The Merry Wives of Windsor (Archive)

by William Shakespeare

October 1996

The story revolves around the farcical attempts of the lecherous John Falstaff to seduce two women, Mistress Page and Mistress Ford, and restore his fortunes from the coffers of their wealthy husbands. He sends both women a letter. Unfortunately for him, the two are close friends and, soon discovering his double dealings, set about turning the tables. They arrange assignations.

Meanwhile, Frank Ford, who is of a jealous nature, plans to test his wife’s fidelity. In the guise of Master Brook, a rejected suitor, he pays Falstaff to seduce Mistress Ford on his behalf and thus becomes party to Sir John’s plans. Twice he almost catches him and Miss Ford together.

The Page’s daughter, Anne, is pursued by three suitors. The French physician, Dr Caius, is her mother’s choice, Slender her father’s. while Anne herself loves Fenton. Mistress Quickly, Dr Caius’ housekeeper, is paid by all three to advance their cause.

The Host of the Garter Inn is a practical joker and plays a trick on the French Dr Caius and the Welsh schoolmaster/priest, Evans. When Caius challenges Evans to a duel, Host lures them both to different locations and ridicules their French and Welsh idiosyncracies. At Herne’s Oak in Windsor Great Park, Falstaff is set up for his final punishment and one of Anne’s suitors is successful.


Sir John Falstaff John Staton
Fenton Jeff Cummings
Robert Shallow Barry West/Tony O’Hagan
Abraham Slender Iain MacPherson
Frank Ford Paul McClean
George Page Graham Kerr
Sir Hugh Evans Joseph Hughes
Doctor Caius Mike Crawshaw
The Host of the Garter Inn Mike Calvert
Bardolph Guy Bishop
Pistol Phil Kohler
Nym Bob Carter
Simple Paul West
John Rugby Guy Bishop
John Phil Kohler
Robert Guy Bishop
Pheobe Chris Squire
Mistress Ford Jill Mowlam
Mistress Page Hazel Blenkinsop
Anne Page Katy Courage
Mistress Quickly Nicky Townsend


Producer Cath Staton
Co-producer Brenda West
Stage Manager Christine Sutton
Set Design Christopher Sutton
Set Construction Christopher Sutton, Christine Sutton, Ian Squire, Craig Eady, Jo Wylderidge, Paul West, Joseph Hughes
Sound Craig Eady & Chris Lawes
Lighting Ian Squire
Props Ruth Staton, Lisa Donelan & Ruth West
Prompt Hazel Galvin
Costumes Harlequin of Warwick
Dresser Pauline Townsend
Makeup Chris Ward
Masks Janice McClean
Songs and other Music Katy Courage
House Manager Janet MacNeill
Refreshments Jo Wylderidge
Tickets Ken Beer
Publicity Mike Calvert