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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: March ::
Re: Merry Wives Appeal
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0400  Monday, 8 March 1999.

[1]     From:   Karen Coley <
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        Date:   Friday, 5 Mar 1999 16:23:28 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Appeal for Merry Wives

[2]     From:   Geralyn Horton <
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        Date:   Friday, 05 Mar 1999 23:00:00 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0364 Re: Merry Wives Appeal


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Karen Coley <
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Date:           Friday, 5 Mar 1999 16:23:28 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        Appeal for Merry Wives

I am shocked and amazed at the negative response to using Merry Wives
for a summer festival.  It seems to me to be a fabulous choice.  The
raving jealous husband who sinks to disguises to catch his own wife and,
of course, the melodramatic lovesick Falstaff who is literally beaten
off three times (in three creative ways) are rich in one-liner and
slapstick humour. That's what keeps the hot and thirsty festival viewer
interested.  Add to this that it is a lesser known play, so people will
want to find out what happens.  And the surrounding costumes and actors
of the festival should complete the illusion of the play's setting-one
of the few Shakespeare plays set in a small English.

I can only explain the poor response on list by assuming people are
either unfamiliar with the play or have never seen a performance which
milked the play's humorous aspects.  I've seen two very good
productions, one at Arroyo Grande High School and one at the Chicago
Repetory Theater.  The former audience was packed with high school
students and parents and the latter with college freshmen.  In both
cases they were rolling in the aisles.  I may be a mere erudite grad
student, but I can highly recommend the popular appeal of MWW, far and
away over the courtly sonnet competitions of Love's Labours Lost!

Cheers,
Karen Coley

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Geralyn Horton <
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Date:           Friday, 05 Mar 1999 23:00:00 -0500
Subject: 10.0364 Re: Merry Wives Appeal
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0364 Re: Merry Wives Appeal

I saw 3 productions in a row a couple of seasons ago, 2 outdoors, one at
the Olivier, all well-attended and received.  In spite of the low
opinion critics have of it today, I have read that at one time (1700?)
MWW was the most popular of the comedies. It is certainly popular with
me!  In addition to the admirable Wives, I have a great fondness for the
Welsh parson.  But do you have talented children to be in it?  It
doesn't work well without a liberal sprinkling of charming kids, and it
is a rare kid who can make himself heard outdoors, unamplified.

G.L.Horton <http://www.tiac.net/users/ghorton>
 

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