The Taming of the Shrew
24 May 1986 – 14 June 1986 St Martins Theatre
Playbox Theatre Company, The Medieval Players,
Classic Theatre International
This production marked the return of the UK's Medieval Players, whose 1985 performances sold out night after night. The show toured to 30 British towns and also had seasons in Darwin, Queensland and Canberra before arriving back in Melbourne.
From the press release:
Their first Shakespearian production offers a unique perspective, made possible by 5 years of touring material that Shakespeare and his actors would have cut their teeth on. To see The Taming of the Shrew is to enter a world of Carnival and Popular Burlesque where not only do men and women change clothes, but master and servant change places and the world is turned upside down; the anarchic knockabout comedy restores Shakespeare's play to the realms of farce. Performed on a bare stage with the lights up on the audience, The Medieval Players capture the directness, vitality and informality of Shakespeare's theatre. Add to this the lavishly colourful and comic costumes, several madcap madrigals, and the musical accompaniment of Giles Lewin on Pipe & Tabor and Fiddle, and the battle of the sexes becomes something to be raucously celebrated."