Falstaff arrives in Windsor to obtain financial advantage by courting two wealthy married women, Mistress Ford and Mistress Page. These "merry wives" are not interested in the aging, overweight Falstaff as a suitor; however, for the sake of their own amusement, and to gain revenge for his indecent assumptions towards them both, they pretend to respond to his advances.
This results in great embarrassment for Falstaff; at one point, he is forced by the jealous Mr Ford to hide in a laundry basket and then thrown into the river. Although this affects Falstaff's pride, his ego is surprisingly resilient. He is convinced that the wives are just 'playing hard to get' with him! The ensuing chaos provides many laughs for young and old.
Photos by Neil Reinholt