The Arts

Stratford Festival 2008 – Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew

Stratford Festival 2008 – Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew featured image

by Paula Citron.
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The Taming of the Shrew
Stratford Festival
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Peter Hinton
Starring Evan Buliung, Irene Poole, Ben Carlson, Adrienne Gould, Jeff Lillico, Stephen Ouimette and Lucy Peacock
At the Stratford Festival Theatre until Oct. 25
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Peter Hinton is one of Canada’s greatest directors, and his The Taming of the Shrew at the Stratford Festival is simply splendid. He has put Shakespeare’s humanity back into what is usually a mindless romp. With the Christopher Sly opener in place, Hinton’s theme is that everything is not what it seems, which highlights Kate’s final troubling speech as the sham it is.

Hinton has treated the language with respect, where one can savour every word and every jest. He has taken some risky chances, though, like giving Kate a real limp, making Grumio a woman, and having Queen Elizabeth as the trickster, but these just highlight the what is real and what is not theme.

Evan Buliung is sensational as a world-weary Petruchio, and Irene Poole is marvellous as a hurt and bitter Kate. The rest of the cast is wonderful. This production is not to be missed.

The Taming of the Shrew continues at the Stratford Festival Theatre until Oct. 25.

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