Conall Morrison's animated production at the Courtyard Theatre focused on the comedy, exemplified by the feisty pairing of Michelle Gomez as Katherina and Stephen Boxer as Petruchio.

A man restrains a woman as she sprawls across a table in her effort to reach some food
Katherina (Michelle Gomez) meets her match in Petruchio (Stephen Boxer), Courtyard Theatre, 2008
Photo by Simon Annand © RSC Browse and license our images


The production concentrated on the humour of the ludicrous plot, prompting critics to call it 'Carry On Shakespeare'. Retaining the play-within-a-play framework with Christopher Sly, the show began with a riotous drunken stag party, followed by the entrance of the Players in a lorry with the number-plate 'XME K8'.

Michelle Gomez (Katherina) and Stephen Boxer (Petruchio) had audiences roaring with laughter, despite Kate's frequent beatings and desperate begging for food. Her final speech of submission was delivered in a submissive and robotic way, leaving no doubt that the play's misogyny is no longer palatable to modern audiences.

Theatical poster for The Taming of the Shrew 2008 featuring an Adam and Eve-style pose with a serpent wrapped around a tree



Courtyard Theatre

Arsher Ali - Huntsman, Philip

Jade Anouka - Lady’s PA, Nicholas

William Beck - Grumio

Stephen Boxer - Christopher Sly, Petruchio

John Paul Connolly - Bouncer, Tailor

Simon Darwen - Huntsman, Haberdasher

Adrian Decosta - Huntsman, Nathaniel

Leonard Fenton - Vincentio

James Garnon - Player, Curtis

Michelle Gomez - Marion Hackett, Katherina

Amanda Hadingue - Lady, Widow

David Hargreaves - Baptista Minola

Amara Karan - Cicely Hackett, Bianca

Sean Kearns - Hortensio

Charles Keir - Tranio

Jack Laskey - Biondello

Patrick Moy - Lucentio

Will Sharpe - Bartholomew, Joseph

Peter Shorey - Player, Gremio

Larrington Walker - Merchant




Director - Conall Morrison

Designer - Francis O'Connor, Joan O'Clery (costumes) 

Lighting designer - Paul Keogan

Sound designer - Mike Compton

Music - Conor Linehan

Movement - Joyce Henderson

Fights - Malcolm Ranson


The RSC's archive is held at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. You can visit the Library and Archives there to look at production related information, including photos, videos of shows and stage management documents:

Shakespeare Centre Library and Archive homepage

You can search the RSC catalogue here: 

RSC performance database

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