Synopsis – The setting is a modern day park bench. A drunken football fan talks about a strange dream he’s had. That dream is The Taming of the Shrew… In Padua, a rich widow refuses to allow her ‘ideal’ youngest daughter, Bianca, to marry one of the many suitors who pursue her until her ‘shrewish’ elder sister, Katherina, has a husband. Petruchio (who happens to be the aforementioned football fan) arrives in Padua and decides to woo, wed and attempt to tame Katherina. This becomes the main plot of the play: at times humorous, at other times shocking and unsettling. Meanwhile the wooing of Bianca continues with comic pace, false identities, frequent deceptions and unexpected conclusions. Ultimately the play returns to the modern day. Will the dreamer have learnt anything from his dream?
Dates for your diary:
– 2nd Auditions: Thu 30th June at 7pm at The Stevenage Lytton Theatre
– Show Dates: Wed 23rd – Sat 26th November 2022 at 7:45pm
Petruchio – Eccentric, witty, strong willed. Seeking a wealthy wife and willing to take on the challenge of taming the Shrew. A very complex and changeable character. Male 30+
Katherina – oldest daughter of Baptista Minola. Fierce temper, strong willed. Not afraid to speak her mind – to anyone! The ‘Shrew’ of the title. A wonderfully challenging role. Female 25+
Bianca – youngest daughter of Baptista Minola, sister to the ‘shrew’. Her mother’s favourite – beautiful, sweet and charming – but maybe not as sweet as she appears. Female 20+
Baptista Minola – mother of Katharina and Bianca. Following her late husband’s dying wish that the younger daughter not be married until the elder has a husband. At her wits end over Katharina. Female 40+
Hortensio – suitor to Bianca. Friend of Petruchio Disguises himself as the musician Licio to gain access to Bianca. Somewhat foolish. Male 25+
Lucentio Son of Vincentio. In love with Bianca. Disguises himself as the scholar Cambio to gain access to Bianca. Naively romantic. Male 20+
Tranio – servant to Lucentio. Pretends to be Lucentio and woos Bianca for him while his master is disguised as Cambio. Comic, but with a serious side! Male 30ish
Gremio – a foolish rich old man; suitor to Bianca. Male. To appear 50+
Grumio – Petruchio’s long suffering servant. A great comic role – with not too many lines. Male 30ish
Biondella – servant to Lucentio. Another comic role with relatively few lines. Female Any age.
Vincentio – gentleman of Pisa; father of Lucentio. Male 50+. Only appears in second half.
A Pedant – a man from Mantua, tricked into impersonating Vincentio by Tranio. Gullible and a little foolish. Male 40s – 50s.
A Widow – only appears in final scene – marries Hortensio. Few lines but opportunity for great cameo! (May appear in non speaking capacity earlier!) Female 40s – 50s.
Various servants – with a little dialogue. Male or female. Various ages. One servant will also appear as a tailor, and another as a haberdasher.
GREMIO (a) Well met, Signior Hortensio.I am going to Baptista Minola.I promised to inquire carefullyAbout a schoolmaster for the fair Bianca:And by good fortune I have lighted wellOn this young man, well read in poetryAnd other books, good ones, I warrant ye.
(b) When the priest should ask, if Katharina should be his wife,he swore so loud that, all-amazed, the priest let fall the book;And, as he stoop’d again to take it up,The mad-brain’d bridegroom took him such a cuffThat down fell priest and book and book and priest. PEDANT Madam, by your leave: having come to PaduaMy son Lucentio made me acquainted with a weighty causeOf love between your daughter and himself:And, for the good report I hear of youAnd for the love he beareth to your daughterAnd she to him, I am content, in a good father’s care,To have him match’d; and if you please,Me shall you find ready and willingWith one consent to have her so bestow’d.
VINCENTIO (a) Fair sir, and you my merry mistress,That with your strange encounter much amazed me,My name is call’d Vincentio; my dwelling Pisa;And bound I am to Padua; there to visitA son of mine, which long I have not seen.
(b) Where is that damned villain Tranio,That faced and braved me in this matter so? I’ll slit the villain’s nose, that would have sent me to the gaol… Fear not, madam; we will content you: but I will in, to be revenged for this villainy.
SERVANTS (a) He is in her chamber, making a sermon of continency to her;And rails, and swears, and rates, that she, poor soul,Knows not which way to stand, to look, to speak,And sits as one new-risen from a dream.Away, away! for he is coming hither
(b) All things is ready. How near is our master?
(c) Didst ever see the like?He kills her in her own humour.
(d) Your worship is deceived; the gown is madeJust as my master had direction:Grumio gave order how it should be done.