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Taming of the Shrew – RSC – Review

Date: 22nd March 2019
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Author: Sarah Holmes
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Publisher: Darwin Escapes


Darwin Escapes are delighted to be sponsoring The Taming of the Shrew at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre

This was my first visit to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon and the first time I’ve watched a Shakespeare play that I hadn’t studied at school. For novices like me, this was a somewhat daunting experience. I was excited of course, but the English language has evolved so much just in my lifetime (all these new phrases like ‘on fleek’? I know I’m not alone on this); I remember thinking these 16th and 17th century tales were like a foreign language whilst studying them in my teens. So I was worried I wouldn’t ‘get’ it yet didn’t want to spoil the ending by reading up on it either; so off I went not knowing what to expect…


My initial thoughts

Firstly, the theatre – my oh my! What a venue! Inside and out, it’s a sight to behold. Blending traditional and modern styles seamlessly to create the most awe-inspiring ambience; basically I was sold before the (proverbial) curtain came up!


James Cooney as Bianco and Joseph Arkley as Katherine

The show

My initial concerns about not understanding were dispelled in an instant. The fantastic cast tell a funny and energetic story of power, greed and tyranny.

Amelia Donkor as Hortensia and James Cooney as Bianco

Turning one of the major themes of gender on its head, director Justin Audibert delivers a fabulous retelling of this classic tale. All the major roles are played by the opposite sex than originally intended and it helps tell a previously misogynistic story, to a modern audience; all that probably would have been a difficult watch for women (and men) somehow added to the humour of the already comical play. And comical it was, I laughed and laughed and laughed some more! What a talented cast; I would pick my favourites, but I can’t the whole ensemble were phenomenal. In fact, everything was sublime, including the stunning sets, lighting and music; but a special mention has to be made about the costumes…just wow.



The company of The Taming of the Shrew

If you’ve never seen a Shakespeare play – go and watch this; if you love all things Shakespeare – watch this; even if you think this isn’t for you – you must watch it…it was fab!

Darwin Escapes is proud to support this fantastic adaptation, tickets are available from the The RSC

Photos by Ikin Yum © RSC.
Main image: Claire Price as Petruchia, Joseph Arkley as Katherine and the company of The Taming of the Shrew

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