The Shrew

the shrewWhen a friend suggested an evening at the theatre recently, I jumped at the opportunity as I haven’t been to a show or play for a long while. “It’s Am Dram,” Avis said, “Shakespeare; one of my favourite plays: The Taming of the Shrew.”

I studied Shakespeare at school and although found some of his plays dull and lengthy, many were always enjoyable. In the past, I have seen professional productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, but never seen an amateur dramatics one, nor this play. It was being performed by Sodbury Players (Chipping Sodbury being a very old and beautiful market town close to where I live) who are very well known and respected in this region and have won several awards.

My granddaughter Kirsty standing far left (wearing glasses) my daughter Katie standing  far right.

My granddaughter Kirsty standing far left (wearing glasses) my daughter Katie standing far right.

I’d seen several of their pantomimes, due mainly to my granddaughter Kirsty being in the supporting cast. I knew she had a part in The Taming, as did for the first time, my daughter Katie! I also knew they had both been practising hard for some six weeks to learn to play a musical instrument for the production, the ukulele and mandolin.

In case you don’t know the story, briefly it’s about how Petruchio, a gentleman of Verona, tricks the headstrong Katherina, an obdurate shrew into marriage. Initially, Katherina is an unwilling participant in the relationship, but Petruchio tempers her with various psychological torments – the “taming” – until she becomes a compliant and obedient bride. The subplot features a competition between the suitors of Katherina’s more desirable sister, Bianca. Typical of Shakespeare, it’s full of trickery and persons pretending to be other characters; a medieval farce which is highly entertaining. The play has been adapted numerous times for stage, screen, opera, and musical theatre, perhaps the most famous being Cole Porter’s musical Kiss Me, Kate. The film 10 Things I Hate About You is also loosely based on the play.

1shrewSo, tickets duly bought, Avis, Brenda and myself were off to enjoy ourselves. We weren’t disappointed; it was tremendous. A fabulous production, as good as any on the professional stage. Talking of the stage, in this performance the stage had been extended into the audience so you felt you were really there among the action.

Afterwards, Katie and Kirsty came over to say hello and meet my two friends who were full of enthusiasm and delight at the whole evening. I was disappointed we couldn’t take photographs during the performance as would have loved to have one of both my girls in costume – they looked beautiful (well, okay, I would say that as I’m biased, but honestly they did – as Avis and Brenda will confirm). We look forward to the next production Sodbury Players put on, an outdoor performance in the summer (fingers crossed the rain stays away) of Laurie Lee’s Cider With Rosie.

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8 responses to “The Shrew

  1. It’s been ages since I’ve been to the theater. I enjoyed the experience need to think about doing it more. So fun when you know someone in the cast. And especially your daughter and granddaughter. They will keep you going for sure.

    • It wasn’t until I was there and right into the play that I realised how much I enjoy going to the theatre. Shall certainly be making a point of going much more often. 🙂

  2. I’m with Lavada. I haven’t been to live theater in ages, it seems. Oh, wait. That’s not true. Hubby and I went to The Lion King a couple months ago. First time in about 10 years. How could I forget that? lol. Anyhow, I’ve never been to a Shakespeare theater play, but this one seems lighthearted and right up my alley. So glad you had fun. And kudos to your daughter and granddaughter for being involved!

    • Ooooh, have been so wanting to see the Lion King. Missed it when it came here to Bristol. Shakespeare can be a little hard to follow at first but it’s surprising how quickly you become engrossed in the plot. Was very proud of my two girls, Laurie. Hope they keep it up. 🙂

  3. Sounds like a lot of fun, Kit. Especially since Kirsty and Katie were involved. Glad you enjoyed the show and having the stage come out so the audience were part of it, must have made it extra special.

  4. wonderful!! I love a lot of the Bard’s work and I do love the Taming! So exciting that your girls were in it as well. I think that’s super. Fun times and good memories being made.

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