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The Taming of the Shrew

by William Shakespeare

Directed by Helen Robinson

Season: 16th August - 4th October 1997

Jazz plays in the foyer while the audience sip champagne; the lights dim, the music swells and the curtain rises on ........... a speakeasy?

The Hostess is furious at the behaviour of one, Sly by name, who is just drunk enough not to care and falls into blissful oblivion. Wakened by a fair maiden(???) Sly is not quite prepared for what is to come.

The Taming of the Shrew has been described as a problem play. Two problems in particular have concerned modern directors; the often discarded "Sly" scenes at the beginning of the play and the unrelenting, physical battle of the sexes which usually makes half the audience of a modern revival squirm. This production does include the "Sly" scenes and closes with an epilogue borrowed from an earlier dramatic version of the "Shrew" story. The main play becomes Sly's dream.

Setting the play in the twenties draws attention to the emergence of women from their stifled and controlled existence with, to use Kate's words, "the spirit to resist!" The twenties was a period of change and recognition - a discarding of traditional beliefs and values and an embracing of life to the fullest!

Cast: Kate Horsley, Stuart Greenfield, Natasha Vagg, P.W. Ryan, James Amery, Ian McGregor, Donald Sword, Andrew Smith, Andrew Foxworth, Timothy Bennett, Cass Cumerford, Misty Fisher, Sophie Wingrove, Barry Hayes