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The Taming of the Shrew

Date

30th June 2011

Society

Peterborough Mask Theatre

Venue

Peterborough Central Park, Peterborough

Type of Production

Play

Director

Rich Unwin

Report

Author: Don McKay

Shakespeare’s “ Taming of the Shrew “ a comedy about the conflict between romance, love and the harsh reality of marriage, was performed by Mask Theatre in the open air setting of Central park on a perfect June evening, and was well received by all who came.
Jill Ward gave us a very friendly welcome, front of house and we settled down to watch the play as others partook of picnics and refreshments, which was apt for the relaxed atmosphere.
This was an overall solid production with some notable performances such as, David Slinger as Lucentio and Jonni Hilton as his servant Tranio, both worked well together and were equally good when their characters were split. Catherine Myland gave an energetic and funny performance as Katharina with Ashlea Wales as her beautiful but spoilt younger sister. Peter Crerar as Gremio, is everything you would expect from a Shakespearean actor, and gave two excellent characterisations. Hortensio played with some fantastic facial expressions by Tom Fox, also displayed good comic timing and provided most of the laughs. The busiest actor in Peterborough, Glen Whitmore was a very good Petruchio and was abley supported by the excellent Terry Toyne as Grumio.
Costumes were well put together by Jill Ward and the use of slippers was an excellent idea.
Rich Unwin’s direction was well constructed ensuring a smooth flowing production and allowed the cast, with good diction and projection, to turn their backs to the audience at times, giving the impression of real conversations by real people. This was a brave decision, considering the lack of acoustics in a park. The subtle lighting and sound by John Crisp was perfectly executed in the setting.

A very pleasant and entertaining evening.