The Royal Shakespeare Company’s new musical version of The Merry Wives of Windsor premieres tonight (12 December 2006) in Stratford-upon-Avon and, all going to plan, London theatregoers should have a chance to see it some time next year. Starring Judi Dench, Alistair McGowan and Simon Callow, who replaced an injured Desmond Barrit during rehearsals (See News, 6 Nov 2006), Merry Wives The Musical continues in rep at Stratford’s Royal Shakespeare Theatre until 10 February 2007. After a break, the RSC hopes to reunite the company, under the direction of RSC chief associate director Gregory Doran, for a limited West End season.