The Taming of the Shrew (2002): The Nottingham Playhouse
PrThe Taming of the Shrew (2002)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Coral Beed (Bianca); John Guerrasio (Baptista); David Partridge (Petruchio); Phillipa Peak (Kate).
This production ran from 8 February - 2 March 2002.
"[David] Farr, greatly helped by Ti Green's terrific Pop art designs, has set the action in a cartoon-like middle America in the early Fifties. A hilarious opening sequence shows husbands mowing their lawns, a chap painting his white picket fence and a manically smiling housewife showing off her home baking. The impossibly blue sky is actually a vast advertisement for Pan Am. In this safe, complacent world, Kate...is the dysfunctional kid on the block, the archetypal mixed-up teenager...and when Petruchio...arrives in town to wive it wealthily, her angry rebellion cannot conceal a strong sexual attraction. Petruchio, a languid WASP in Ray-Bans, is to Kate a rare free spirit in a world of stultifying conformity. The combination of Shakespearean verse and American accents proves too tough for some of the cast, but the production creates such an exuberant buzz that it scarcely matters. There is a most beguiling comic spirit at work here, from the witty choice of period music (Love Letters in the Sand, Hot Dog, Duke Ellington's The Mooch) to a hilarious parody of low-budget horror flicks at Petruchio's house, staffed by an army of Igor-like retainers....And among the support, I particularly liked Coral Beed's Bianca...Nicholas Burns's likeable Lucentio...and Andrew French as a witty, stylish Tranio, a black man who impersonates his white master with wicked relish."
~ Charles Spencer, "A shrewd way to tame the Shrew", Daily Telegraph, 16 February 2002