Taming of the Shrew - theatre review

Sitting here, I've been deliberating how to start writing this review. I have to admit something, I was weary about reviewing The Taming of The Shrew. Having never seen it and only read it once, I wasn't sure I was going to be able to give it credit where credit was due, however, what an absolutely fantastic production. Luckily I already knew the story, I mean, the clue's in the title funnily enough. But Time Zone Theatre have done an absolutely cracking job. It started off a little nervously as some actors took a little longer to find their feet but there were three that completely blew me away from the moment they stepped on stage to the minute they took their bows, they were Samuel Harris (Lucentio), James MacLaren (Hortensio) and Tom Phillips (Tranio). I could watch James MacLaren all day, everyday such passion in every line he delivers. The rest of the cast once the first ten minutes had gone really started to grow and love their characters (I put this down to first night nerves) especially Benedict Salter (Petruchio) who I loved to hate as soon as Petruchio flipped and showed his wicked side. I must say, Salter does psychotic very well.

I must note the three ladies each played their characters with poise and elegance although there was a moment between Alexa Hartley (Bianca) and Harris (Lucentio) when they are kissing which they got so into I genuinely thought they had forgotten they were on stage (are they a real couple?!). To say I believed their characters were a couple is an understatement.

The whole play is set in modern day times which at first I wasn't sure about but worked well and i felt completely immersed in their world. The company as a whole had such an energy on stage I will definitely be looking out for their next production. I caught myself thinking I would have loved to have seen this on a much bigger stage as each actor would certainly thrive even more so than they did on opening night. I may even go and see the show again as they have rekindled my love of Shakespeare.

(c) Rochelle Harvey 2013


Pamela Schermann - Director
Sophie Mosberger - Set and Costume Designer
Assistant director: Jude Evans
Intern: Isabel Ilfrich
Photographer : Robert Piwko

"The Taming of the Shrew" runs at The Rose, Bankside from 3rd - 28th September 2013. Shows start at 7.30pm Tuesday-Saturday, 3pm only on Sunday.

Author's review: