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Falstaff (I) (2006)

TV Movie  -   -  Music  -  23 July 2006 (UK)
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"Big John" Falstaff props up the bar at the nineteenth hole, as he plots improve his financial position by seducing the lovely Alice Ford.

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(adaptation)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Simon Butteriss ...
Dr Cajus
Marilyn Cutts ...
Julian Forsyth ...
Francis Ford QC
Daniel Gillingwater ...
Jan Hartley ...
Ian Jervis ...
Katie Lovell ...
Nanetta Ford
Andy Morton ...
Fenton
Rosamund Shelley ...
Simon Masterton Smith ...
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"Big John" Falstaff props up the bar at the nineteenth hole, as he plots improve his financial position by seducing the lovely Alice Ford.

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Verdi's evergreen comedy, set on a modern golf course

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Music

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23 July 2006 (UK)  »

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(HD)

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1.85 : 1
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Trivia

Shot on and around a real golf course, based on Music Theatre London's production at the Drill Hall Theatre London. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Okay I guess
1 July 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I have always loved opera, and will see anything related to it. Verdi's Falstaff is not one of the maestro's overall best, but it has lovely music and sparkles in its comedy. Of the versions I've seen, the best are the 1956(Taddei), 1982(Taddei), 1993(Plishka), 1976(Gramm) and 2001(Maestri) productions, the weakest being the 2006(Raimondi) production.

This Falstaff, directed by Tony Britten, is not bad, nor is it amazing. Of the productions seen, it is the second-weakest for me, better than the Raimondi production, but I do recommend Bacquier's, White's, Bruson's, Van Dam's and Terfel's productions over this one, even if all have problems of their own.

Visually, the locations are lovely(though in all honesty I miss the sumptuous Tudor decor that was always one of the charms of Falstaff productions) and very well shot. The orchestral playing and conducting are suitably buoyant, I did enjoy seeing the extensive character back-story especially in Falstaff and the dialogue has liveliness and wit.

However, where the production isn't so good is the sound quality. Even when the locations change, the acoustics stay the same and take away from Tony Britten's sit-com-like concept. Some of the singing sounds as though it was taxed by Verdi's vocal writing(hardly surprising, Verdi is difficult to sing and there are parts of Falstaff that are taxing on any voice really), that was especially true of Katie Lovell's Nannetta.

The performances were a mixed bag. Britten doesn't make Falstaff witty or vulnerable, but makes him a sleaze pretty much. Ian Jervis though does very much convince within this concept. Likewise I didn't feel as much sympathy here for Ford as I do usually, mainly because Britten makes him a stock figure of fun seemingly, but like Jervis Julian Forsyth's suitably bemused performance does fit within the concept.

Jan Hartley does wonderfully in providing a more rounded and sympathetic contrast in Alice, and Rosamund Shelley's Meg Page is very much the same. Katie Lovell's Nannetta is more knowing than Nannetta usually is, which I did like, but I did find her high notes on the squally side. Marilyn Cutts is a suitably conniving Mistress Quickly, and while their characters to rather stock sit-com-like characters, Daniel Gillingwater, Simon Masterton Smith and Simon Butteriss are good as Bardolph, Pistol and Doctor Cajus.

Andy Morton is not so good, and overall as Fenton perhaps the cast's weak link. Dashing he is, but almost too mature, and his singing has more of a crooning quality above all else. In conclusion, the production is okay but not quite good enough to be more than that. 6/10 Bethany Cox


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