Fresh take on controversial play

February 8, 2024 BY

Spirit to resist: Hayley Beacham and Tim Harris star as Kate and Petruchio in the Bard in Buninyong’s production of The Taming of the Shrew. Photo: EDWINA WILLIAMS

OPEN-air Shakespearean storytelling returns to the Buninyong Botanic Gardens this summer.

A cast of 27 Bard in Buninyong players of all ages are to perform the controversial The Taming of the Shrew over eight stagings from Friday 9 to Sunday 18 February.

The play, set in Italy in the Renaissance period, stars Hayley Beacham and Tim Harris as Kate and Petruchio, and will have elements of Italian comedy including clowning and circus tricks.

“Tim and Hayley are a fabulous match-up who have worked together for many years, and they’ve been able to push the roles and have a great time with them,” said director Susan Pilbeam.

“Hayley and I have worked together to put a feminist spin on it all. We’ve played with the ending and lightened things up to make sure it’s a bit more accessible to everyone.”

Many members of the audience may be familiar of the Taming of the Shew story, even if they’ve never seen the play, as it was adapted for the film, 10 Things I Hate About You starring Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles.

“It’s been enjoyable having the challenge of trying to balance the views of the time it was written in, and what the audience wants or is expecting,” Beacham said.

Pre-show entertainment will be played by local musicians Martin Scuffins, The Winter Berries, The Milla Williams Duo, MirLyn Duo, Steve McKenna, The Buninyong Players, Tom and Freya McGowan, and Quinta.

The Bard’s players have taken part in physical theatre workshops over the summer in stage combat and commedia dell’arte.

Visit bit.ly/3OuieJ9 for tickets or buy them at the gate with cash or card.