I was biking in the Park on Tuesday morning when I came upon the set for this year’s Saint Louis Shakespeare Festival. As this post’s title infers, this years production is The Merry Wives of Windsor. Merry Wives will run from next Wednesday, May 20 until June 14. As always the Shakespeare Festival is free to all. Today’s header is from last year’s production of Richard III.
Merry Wives is a comedy. It features the fat knight Sir John Falstaff, and is Shakespeare’s only play to deal exclusively with contemporary Elizabethan era English middle class life. The themes of the play include love and marriage, jealousy and revenge, class and wealth. Sir John Falstaff first deceives the wives. The wives then deceive Falstaff. Falstaff gets into trouble because he is insincere, pretending to be in love when all he is really interested in is money. The ladies turn the tables on Falstaff, and he gets his just desserts in the end.
Most people who attended last year’s production of Richard III, will remember the Bard’s Bog, as much of the lawn seating was soon dubbed. Heavy rains turned the lawn seating into a muddy morass. In the intervening year the site was the home to much landscaping work. Drains were installed for better drainage, a limestone wall was errected to serve as a foundation for future sets and a permanent power supply was provided. Additionally, the Forest Park Advisory Board unanimously approved naming the production site the Shakespeare Glen. The coming week’s wet forecast will quickly put to the test the merit of these improvements.
OBTW, I got fifteen miles yesterday.