The Merry Wives of Seoul @ C Venues

A bumbling orange-haired Falstaff eats humble pie in this colourful Korean take on the lesser-known Shakespeare play, The Merry Wives of Windsor

Review by Caitlin A. Kearney | 17 Aug 2018
  • The Merry Wives of Seoul

Soon Chun Hyang University English Drama Club's joyful and never too serious The Merry Wives of Seoul is a new adaptation of The Merry Wives of Windsor, Shakespeare's comedy of love and marriage, told through a confection of beautiful costumes and stunning physicality.

The juxtaposition of effortlessly impressive K-Pop dance and traditional dress is great fun, as are the unexpected song choices. The best surprise appears right at the start and continues to please throughout; a Falstaff with the physical features and idiosyncrasies of a certain world leader, enough to be unmistakable but not so overt as to be a caricature. The production is well cast as a whole, and whilst the energetic slapstick and other high-octane movement scores bring delight – the athleticism of many cast members is quite amazing – particular praise must be given to Ye-eun Lee and Ye-ju Woo for their nuance and chemistry as Mistresses Ford and Page respectively.

The commitment to every role and love for drama is clear from beginning to end, as is the attention to detail in every aspect. Unfortunately, despite everyone’s best efforts, not all of the dialogue is fully intelligible. Most importantly, it is a pleasure to see such a disciplined ensemble enjoying itself this much.

This is a show deserving of far more attention than it has been afforded so far. You will be more enamoured with this hard-working host of bubbly character actors at every turn and will leave in high spirits.

The Merry Wives of Seoul, C Venues (C South), until 18 Aug, 5.15pm, £8-10

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