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Taming of the Shrew
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The Taming of the Shrew

The Taming of the Shrew - 2012

A tinker, Christopher Sly passes out drunk and is thrown out of the local tavern. A local Lord takes him to his house and decides to play a practical joke on him. He and his household convince Sly that he is in fact the Lord of the house.

They inform him that a group of players have arrived to perform ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ for him. This then becomes not only the play presented to Sly but also the main play presented to us, the audience.

Hortensio who seeks his fortune, the rich and elderly Gremio and the romantic Lucentio all arrive at the house of Baptista to woo his beautiful daughter Bianca. However, Baptista insists that Bianca cannot be wed until his older daughter, the shrewish Katherine is married, but with her violent temper and reputation for shrewishness who will marry her?

Hortensio has a friend, the loud, drunken rogue Petruchio, who has arrived in Padua to make his fortune through a good marriage. He strikes up a deal with Baptista over the dowry and takes on the challenge of overcoming Katherine’s fearsome personality.

This enables Hortensio and Lucentio to see Bianca when they disguise themselves as her music and Latin tutors. Seeing as his master is role-playing to get closer to Bianca, Lucentio’s servant Tranio pretends to be him and tries to make some ground in negotiating with Baptista.

Petruchio surprises them all by marrying Katherine. He arrives late for the wedding wearing an outrageous costume of his own design. He then takes her to his country house where he will continue to tame her by various means of deprivation.

Meanwhile Lucentio has gained the upper hand with Bianca. His servant Tranio convinces a travelling school teacher to pretend to be Lucentio’s father, Vincentio. Baptista wants to meet Vincentio to discuss details of the marriage. When the real Vincentio turns up there is great confusion, but eventually the match of Lucentio and Bianca is settled.

In the meantime, Hortensio has found a wealthy widow to wed. Petruchio and Katherine return to attend the wedding. Everyone is surprised at what appears to be a tamed Katherine. The men hold a wager to see whose wife is most attentive to their wishes and call for them, but only Katherine answers and she makes a speech in homage to her husband’s wishes whilst he watches on dotingly. The only question is: ‘Who has tamed whom?’