It’s always special when Northern Broadsides announces a tour. The company has once again teamed up with the award-winning New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme, for a co-production of Shakespeare’s superb medley of comedy and farce, The Merry Wives.
Set in the North of England in the 1920s, the production will be directed by, and feature, NB’s artistic director Barrie Rutter as lovable rogue Sir John Falstaff.
Falstaff is past-his-prime and skint. Vain rogue that he is, he attempts, rather clumsily, to seduce a couple of well-to-do wives … but Mistress Page and Mistress Ford get wise to his plan and scheme to exact revenge with hilarious and unimaginable consequences.
Northern Broadsides previously staged The Merry Wives in 1993 and 2001.
Rutter will be playing Falstaff for the third time. His recent works include the title roles in Jonathan Miller’s productions of King Lear and Rutherford & Son, as well directing and featuring in Broadsides award-winning co-production with the New Vic Theatre, An August Bank Holiday Lark.
Barrie Rutter has previously worked for the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Regulars at the New Vic Theatre, this will be Northern Broadsides seventh co-production with the venue. Previous co-productions have included The Tempest (2007), The Canterbury Tales (2010), Love’s Labour’s Lost (2012) and the award winning An August Bank Holiday Lark (2014).
In autumn 2016 Northern Broadsides will be teaming up with York Theatre Royal to tour J B Priestley’s When We Are Married. The production, which will be directed by Barrie Rutter, will open at the newly redeveloped York Theatre Royal in September.
The Merry Wives 2016 Tour
February 5–27, New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme
March 1–5, Viaduct Theatre, Dean Clough, Halifax
March 8-12, Hull Truck Theatre
March 15-19, The Lowry, Salford Quays
March 22-26, Rose Theatre, Kingston
April 5–16, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds
April 19-23, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
April 26–30, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
May 4–7, Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield
May 10–14, Yvonne Arnaud, Guilford
May 17–21, York Theatre Royal
May 24-28, Liverpool Playhouse.