‘The Taming of the Shrew’ Open-Air Production

Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew is a notoriously difficult play, with gender politics that are very much at odds with CLC thinking on the role of women in the world. However, with suffragette banners and sashes flying around the set, the excellent cast managed to portray to the audience that the winning over of Katherina, played by Tegan Harris, was not so much a subjugation as a willing compromise in the face of imminent war.

The directors, Madelaine Kenner and Alice Whitting, made the historical setting a key element in the production without diminishing the comedy that lies at the heart of the play. Of the many excellent performances Daphne Armstrong as the elderly lover Gremio and Ruby Sowerbutts as a sharp-witted Tranio stood out as being especially amusing. Tilly Fawcett, in the lead male role of Petruchio, gave a very well-judged interpretation of the role, which emphasised the perverse humour of the character, rather than his cruelty. And in a minor role Lilibet O’Connor threatened to steal the show with her constant running in and out and some hilarious reactions.

Overall this was a very amusing production and, despite some heavy clouds overhead, the outdoor setting added to its charm.

Mark Smith, Director of Drama