Merry Wives of Windsor

Date 24th July 2015
Society Richmond Amateur Dramatic Society
Venue Richmond Georgian Theatre
Type of Production Play
Director Gary Winn


Author: Rhoda Fraser

Well done to Gary Winn, Director, and cast and crew for a slick and entertaining second night of William Shakespeare’s, “The Merry Wives of Windsor”, the RADS summer production which ran for two weeks at the Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond.

It is the story of Sir John Falstaff, who is on his “uppers” and hopes to seduce two wealthy married women, Mistress Ford (Alice Johnson) and Mistress Page (Moira Mason) to obtain an easier life for himself.  He sends them identical love letters, but the ladies confide in each other and are not amused. Deciding to get their own back and play him along at his own game, the two ladies give us some hilarious moments, especially trying to hide the overweight gent in a linen basket. Congratulations to Mike Walker, as Falstaff, for coping with the extensive paunch and the aunt’s costume, the audience loved you.

Mr Page and Mr Ford are eventually told of the plot and together they devise a final plan leading Falstaff to Windsor forest. Page and Ford were very confidently player by father and son Warnock and Stewart Kerr, and the forest scene was most enjoyable. Well done to Julie Winn and Pam Walker for the lovely costumes, and Jim Brown for the atmospheric lighting.

The play also had a sub-plot, where young Anne Page (Lucy Owens) had three different suitors, Dr Caius (Bruce Cunningham) Master Slender (Max Walker) and Master Fenton (Robert Capon). We followed the twists and turns of their romance, or non-romance!

RADS seem to have a happy knack of matching the right people to the most suitable parts. I have to mention a great favourite, Lynne Kerr, as Mistress Quickly, who nimbly acted as the go-between, and Beki Harrison, as young servant Simple, whose face took on a life of its own. Great entertainment! Director Gary cast three women in “gent’s” parts, one of the others being the Host (Julie Winn), who never lost her stance as the aloof gent, strutting his stuff, well done.

Congratulations to Stage manager Alex Caffrey and her backstage crew who kept the ball rolling. I loved the back projection which added to the atmosphere of the show. I was not quite sure about the final song and dance, but it sent us home with a smile on our faces. RADS once again gave a good evening’s entertainment.  It is lovely to see the young people joining the group and growing in experience.