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The Merry Wives of Windsor at the RSC

Full casting, image (c) RSC.

The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare. Directed by Blanche McIntyre.

In repertoire Wednesday 5 June – Saturday 7 September 2024; Press Night: Wednesday 12 June, 7pm. Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon.



Full casting is announced for the RSC’s forthcoming production of Shakespeare’s suburban comedy, The Merry Wives of Windsor. Directed by Blanche McIntyre. Samantha Spiro and Siubhan Harrison play the ‘Merry Wives’, with John Hodgkinson as Sir John Falstaff, and Richard Goulding as Frank Ford.

Curtains are twitching and tongues are wagging in this fresh new production of Shakespeare’s suburban comedy.

Lies! Jealousy! Dirty laundry! The Merry Wives of Windsor is an uproarious tale of mischief and double dealing where the women get the last laugh. What goes on at Number 22 is absolutely everybody’s business.

Merry Wife Samantha Spiro. Photo (c) RSC.

Making their RSC debuts as the eponymous ‘Merry Wives’ are the double Olivier Award-winner Samantha Spiro (Sex Education/ Ridley Road) as Mistress Meg Page, who is joined by Siubhan Harrison (The Ocean at the End of the Lane) as Mistress Alice Ford.  John Hodgkinson (Dear England, RSC’s A Christmas Carol) plays Sir John Falstaff, and Richard Goulding (Scoop, The Windsors, King Charles III) plays Frank Ford.

Merry Wife Siubhan Harrison. Photo (C) RSC.

Blanche McIntyre, director, said: “The Merry Wives of Windsor is one of Shakespeare's most underrated plays. Its mixture of comedy and vulnerability foreshadows great writers such as Alan Ayckbourn, and its farcical set pieces are the forerunners of classic sitcom. I'm setting the play in a contemporary small town, as I think its gossipy lack of privacy, its suburban values and its overheated town politics are timeless. I've wanted to direct The Merry Wives of Windsor for a long time, and I am delighted to be working on it with the sensational company we've assembled." 

The full cast comprises Jessica Alade (Simple), Omar Bynon (Pistol), John Dougall (Shallow), Riess Fennell (Robert/Student), Richard Goulding (Frank Ford), Siubhan Harrison (Alice Ford), John Hodgkinson (Sir John Falstaff), Emily Houghton (Host of the Garter), Ian Hughes (Sir Hugh Evans),  Wil Johnson (George Page), Yasemin Junqueira (Student), John Leader (Fenton), David Mara (Rugby), Tadeo Martinez (Robin), Shazia Nicholls (Mistress Quickly) Yasemin Özdemir (Nym), David Partridge (Bardolph/John), Samantha Spiro (Meg Page), Jason Thorpe (Dr Caius), Tara Tijani (Anne Page) and Patrick Walshe McBride (Slender).   Visit the RSC website for actor’s and creative’s full bios.

John Hodgkinson as Sir John Falstaff. Photo (c) RSC.

Blanche McIntyre’s previous RSC directing credits include All’s Well That Ends Well (2022), Titus Andronicus (2017) and The Two Noble Kinsmen (2016).  Other credits include Arabian Nights (Bristol Old Vic), Super High Resolution (Soho Theatre), House of Shades (Almeida) and Measure for Measure (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse).

Joining Blanche on the creative team are Robert Innes Hopkins (Set and Costume Designer), Malcolm Rippeth (Lighting Designer), Tim Sutton (Composer), Emma Laxton (Sound Designer), Ingrid Mackinnon (Movement Director), Philip d’Orleans (Fight Director) and Matthew Dewsbury CDG (Casting Director).

Richard Golding as Frank Ford. Photo (c) RSC.

The Merry Wives of Windsor (5 June - 7 September) plays in repertoire with The School for Scandal (2 July – 6 September), with some of the cast appearing in both shows.  Casting for The School for Scandal will be announced shortly.

Director Talk: Tuesday 11 June, 5.15-6pm and Post Show Talk: Wednesday 4 September. Full details of other special performances on the website.

Box Office: 01789 331111 or visit:


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