Rehearsals are well under way and tickets now available to book online for Shropshire Drama Company’s forthcoming production of William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew.
Directed by Beverley Baker, the outdoor performances will take place from 16 – 21 June at Holy Trinity Church Green in Much Wenlock as part of the town’s biennial arts and music festival.
The play, written between 1590 and 1594, is one of Shakespeare’s earliest comedies. A mischievous Lady of the Manor tricks a drunken tinker named Christopher Sly into believing he is actually a nobleman. She then has the play performed for Sly’s diversion. In it Petruchio, a wild and determined wife hunter works on ‘taming’ Katherina Minola, the shrew, into an obedient, honey-tongued trophy wife. Unfortunately while the younger sibling Bianca conforms to the Victorian style of corset and crinoline, Katherina is determined to allow her personality to dominate. She has discarded the wearing of restrictive clothing and subscribed to the ideals of Pre-Raphaelite society.
Though they are both of an independent and feisty mind, Katherina tends to let her bad temper show. Victorian women often realised that they needed to marry to gain a semblance of independence and if chosen well they could rule their husbands and live the life they wanted. Kate and Bianca know this. Bianca makes her choice for this reason but Kate wants someone who can match her!
Beverley Baker said: “The Taming of the Shrew is a play about love. It is also about intelligence and independence, a woman rebelling, conforming and understanding, but mostly it is about love. Our interpretation opens in the mid-1920s, post First World War, at a time when women, especially those who had money, were becoming independent, free and very much enjoying life. In contrast, the play within the play will be set in the mid-1800s and Much Wenlock’s Holy Trinity Church grounds will be full of laughter, life, music, madness, corsets, crinolines, long johns and sock suspenders, comic bawdiness and of course love!”
Tickets for The Taming of the Shrew are available to book online at www.wegottickets.com/muchwenlockfestival
Picture: The Taming of the Shrew poster.