The Merry Wives of Windsor full cast details

7 August 2012

Sylvestra Le Touzel and Alexandra Gilbreath cast as the 'Merry Wives' in Shakespeare's Lighthearted comedy this winter at the RSC
 
The Merry Wives of Windsor
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Phillip Breen
Royal Shakespeare Theatre: 25 October 2012 – 12 January 2013
Press Night: Thursday 1 November, 7pm

Alexandra Gilbreath
and Sylvestra Le Touzel take on the roles of the formidable 'Wives' in The Merry Wives of Windsor this winter. Playing Mistress Ford and Mistress Page, they join Desmond Barrit as Falstaff and Anita Dobson as Mistress Quickly in Shakespeare's domestic comedy at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre over the Christmas period.

Both Alex and Sylvestra are RSC alumni and Alex's last RSC appearance was in the same play – the musical version directed by Gregory Doran in 2006.

Sylvestra's RSC roles have included Viola in Twelfth Night and Ophelia opposite Mark Rylance's Hamlet in 1988 (and with John Ramm in the same cast as Laertes). She last appeared with the company in 1996 in Les Enfants du Paradis at the Barbican theatre.

John Ramm plays Shakespeare's tribute to the jealous husband. His last production for the company was in 2004 when he appeared in three productions as part of The Spanish Golden Age season.

Phillip Breen directs this production in the present day and is inspired by his home town of Stratford-upon-Avon.

He said 'I am setting the play in Windsor. Like any director I am alive to the things that are around me and there are images that I've observed around Stratford which have made their way in to the production.'

Talking about the challenges of working on the RST's thrust stage, he continued:

'The one thing that Merry Wives has more than any other Shakespeare play is the interiors which are mentioned in detail in the text. One of the main set pieces is Ford looking for Falstaff in a house. In order to make that work, we need places for Falstaff to hide. My personal view is that it's difficult to do the play in a figurative space. This isn't Illyria or Ephesus. I think it needs to be a grounded world; therefore we need solid objects to suggest an interior.'

The cast is completed by: David Charles (Sir Hugh Evans), Denton Chikura (Nym), Bart Soroczynski (Dr Caius), Paapa Essiedu (Fenton), Calum Finlay (Slender), Stephen Harper (Bardolph), Martin Hyder (George Page), Julia Innocenti (Neighbour), Carla Mendonça (Neighbour), Thomas Pickles (Simple), Naomi Sheldon (Anne Page), Ged Simmons (Pistol), David Sterne (Shallow), Simeon Truby (Host of the Garter Inn), Obioma Ugoala (Rugby).

On the casting of the play Breen said:

'There's a great mixture of RSC experience and talented youth. Obviously there's Des Barrit as Falstaff, but we have Sylvestra Le Touzel and Alexandra Gilbreath returning as the wives, along with the brilliant John Ramm as Ford and Anita Dobson as Mistress Quickly. As the actors will be playing in both The Merry Wives of Windsor and The Mouse and His Child, we've got a great combination of diverse and exciting talents some of whom I've got to know through Paul Hunter, who's directing Mouse.'

The production is designed by Max Jones with lighting by Tina MacHugh and sound by Simon Baker. The music is by Paddy Cunneen. Movement is by Ayse Tashkiran and the fight director is Renny Krupinski.

For further information, please contact philippa.harland@rsc.org.uk
For press tickets, please contact dean.asker@rsc.org.uk

Date of issue: Tuesday 7 August 2012

Notes to Editors

Rehearsal and production images will be available to download free of charge from the EPO in due course (www.epo-online.com

  • Box Office: 0844 800 1110 or www.rsc.org.uk
  • Twitter: #RSCWindsor
  • The RSC Ensemble is generously supported by THE GATSBY CHARITABLE FOUNDATION and THE KOVNER FOUNDATION
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor runs in repertoire in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre with The Mouse and His Child, a new adaptation by Tamsin Oglesby based on the book by Russell Hoban.

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