Shakespeare Kelowna Delivering Laughs with the Merry Wives of Windsor – Okanagan |

Shakespeare Kelowna planned to perform the Merry Wives of Windsor for a local audience twice before, but the pandemic got in the way.

Assuming the weather improves over the next few days, the third time should be the charm. And there’s possibly no better time to bring home one of the bard’s fan favorites.

As director Stephen Jefferys explained, the farce, which was not a delight among literary critics, has always been beloved by audiences.

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It’s chatty and funny, much like a comedy soap opera, and for those who don’t always like the linguistic flair of Shakespeare’s more intoxicating works, a good break. It is written in prose, not verse, he said, and better reflects the way people would have spoken at the time it was written, in the early 17th century.

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And, after a long pandemic, being outside having a glass of wine and immersing yourself in a comedic skit that has stood the test of time is just the balm many are looking for.

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Jefferys said it is widely believed that Shakespeare wrote the play at the request of Queen Elizabeth I to show her favorite character, Sir John Falstaff, in love.

Played in this version by Cameron Gordon, the vain and boastful gentleman decides to woo two rich married women, Mistress Ford and Mistress Page, for his own financial gain. When these women, repulsed by Falstaff, learn that identical love letters have been sent to them, they decide to teach him a lesson by pretending to play along.

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Jefferys said Ford’s incredibly jealous husband gets sucked into a mix of misunderstandings and deludes himself into a mess of pouting and tantrums. There are also several side storylines, including a fencing duel in a field full of cow burgers, secret weddings, and a climactic Halloween party in the woods.

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It’s a classic that Jefferys has put his own spin on, for starters.

He adapted the play to be set in the 1960s, and the music of the Beatles will accompany it. A live band will accompany the production, adding something special to the performance that Jefferys is already so proud of.

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“It’s wonderful to be back in a live audience,” he said, adding that Shakespeare fans and the uninitiated alike will enjoy “the magic of the production.”

The Merry Wives of Windsor is produced by Richard Knight, directed by Stephen Jefferys and musical director is Michael Minions.

It will be at Spearhead Winery from July 6 to 16, from 7 pm to 9 pm

Tickets are available online at or you can buy at the door. Cash only for this last option.

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