©2018 by Canterbury Shakespeare Festival.

An Interview with Eleanor Sutcliffe

The Merry Wives of Windsor

Tell us a bit about yourself
 

Hi! My name is Eleanor, and I am a History and Drama Student at The University of Kent. I have seen 30/37 of the Bard’s plays, so as you can tell I am a very big fan. I played a Spirit in The Tempest in Elliot College back in 2018 CSF. The Merry Wives of Windsor is my Directorial Debut.

 

What made you interested in directing?
 

Directing has always been a dream of mine. I have been lucky to work with a wave of inspiring directors who taught me so much. I felt that directing with CSF would be an good place to begin.

 

What inspired you to choose this play- why this one in particular?
 

I chose The Merry Wives Of Windsor because it’s a play that hasn’t been done at CSF before, so I thought why not bring something new and different into the programme. I also thought it would be a great opportunity to bring the legendary John Falstaff to the audiences of Canterbury. This is a great comedy with so many themes and values that a modern audience can connect to.

 

What do you think is unique about your production?
 

My production is unique in the way that it is intended to bring our modern world and Shakespeare’s Tudor world together through design and through hidden directions in the text. Also, I am offering opportunity for a lot of gender blind casting, as originally, there are only 5 female characters in the play. Hopefully this will make a very memorable production for CSF 2019.

 

Do you have particular favourite line/scene?
 

Tough one! I think my favourite scene is Act 4 Scene 2- the second time Mistress Ford and Mistress Page trick Falstaff. The scene escalates into hilarious chaos. I love how the scene allows crucial elements to unfold such as Mistress Page and Ford telling their husbands the truth behind the antics and deciding to work together to teach Falstaff a final big lesson.

 

Why should people audition for your play/ and for CSF in general?
 

People should audition for CSF because it is a great chance to learn and perform Shakespeare in such a friendly and creative environment. Even if you haven’t performed Shakespeare before this is a great place to start and by the end you’ll feel more confident.

People should come audition for The Merry Wives of Windsor because it is a truly fantastic and genuinely enjoyable comedy. I am offering a lot of opportunity for a new take on the characters through things such as gender-blind casting and setting it in present day. There’s a great opportunity for an actor to bring the legendary John Falstaff to life for the audiences of Canterbury.

 

What can audiences expect from your production?
 

Audiences can expect a fun filled, highly energised comedy with some great memorable characters. They may need to watch their picnics if they’re sitting in the front row. They can also expect an exciting new take on such a fantastic comedy.