The Taming of the Shrew directed by Lucy Bailey at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon is a loud, grotesque and unromantic view of one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. However, under the circumstances, the productions odd choices seemed to create a magic, yet undignified world, in which the characters seemed more striking than ever.
The stage, or rather a giant bed, covered with an enormous sheet, produces a playful and sensual environment. The actors hide beneath the sheets, chaise each other under the cover, partake in pillow fights and roll around in unexpected ways. David Caves and Lisa Dillon triumph as Petruchio and Kate. Their chemistry brightens the darkness of their savageness.
In the end, although Kate becomes love stuck with her Petruchio, she is truly tamed – still claiming possession of her wild spirit. Her final speech produces touching emotions rather than the startling comic gestures often misinterpreted by many productions.