The Taming of the Shrew | Synopsis

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  • Running time:

    2 hrs 30 mins + 20 mins interval

Next performance:

26 July, 7:15PM

Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Stratford-upon-Avon

SYNOPSIS 

Read the plot for Justin Audibert's reimagined The Taming of the Shrew – where 1590s England is a Matriarchy.

THE CHALLENGE

Fortune-hunting Hortensia, rich old Gremia and newly-arrived-in-town Lucentia all wish to court the handsome Bianco, but his mother Baptista decrees he cannot marry before his older brother, the sharp-tongued and quick-tempered Katherine.

The bachelorette Petruchia steps up to the challenge and vows to woo Katherine, both for Katherine's dowry and for the challenge of overcoming his fearsome reputation.

Hortensia and Lucentia gain access to Bianco by disguising themselves as his tutors, while Lucentia's servant Trania pretends to be Lucienta. Bianco favours the young Lucentia as his suitor.

TAMING A SHREW

Petruchia succeeds in wooing Katherine – but shocks everyone by turning up late to the wedding wearing unsuitable clothes. She then takes him off to her country house, where she 'tames' him through various forms of deprivation.

Trania persuades a travelling schoolteacher to pretend to be Lucentia's mother Vincentia in order to give assurance of Lucentia's financial means to Baptista. There is confusion when the real Vincentia turns up. She eventually approves of the marriage of Lucentia and Bianco.

Hortensia accepts defeat and marries a wealthy widower, while Petruchia and Katherine return to reveal that Katherine is now a changed man.