A re-imagined version of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew set in 1950’s Italy is being brought to the stages of the Paviolion Theatre by the Phoenix Ensemble.

Opening on the 24th of April, The Taming of the Shrew is a hilarious romantic play following the romantic entanglements of the Minola sisters.

The eldest and ‘shrewish’ Katherina and her sweet younger sister Bianca are as different as the north pole and south pole. 

As Shakespeare tells it, a surplus in Bianca’s suitors prompts their father to impose the condition that Katherina must be married before Bianca – sparking a series of secret deals, assumed identifies and unconventional courtship.

Director Roslyn Johnson described the Phoenix production as “Shakespeare with a twist”, setting the comedy in 1950s Italy.

“Audiences who love classic films like Roman Holiday will recognise the inspiration for the visual style,” she said.

“There is some re-contextualisation that respects the text but helps the audience. Our 15th Century Italian merchant becomes a 1950s Italian restaurateur with just a touch of Mafioso.

“The text, however, is paramount and we have worked hard to respect the iambic pentameter and master the art of delivering it with comic timing. But where the words become challenging, the physical comedy will help out the audience.”



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