REVIEW: The Taming of the Shrew (The Cockpit) ★

After a successful turn at the Camden Fringe Festival, ‘Get Over It Productions’ all female version of ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ transfers to the Cockpit Theatre. Considered one of Shakespeare’s most controversial plays, the story centres on a group of young men competing for the opportunity to woo the charming ‘Bianca’. However, as her father forbids his youngest daughter to marry until the elder is also wed, they must find a suitable husband for her headstrong, obdurate shrew of a sister ‘Katharina’.

This production relocates the action to the centre of a drug fuelled rave in 1989, with hideous shell suits and sweaty dancing, the bards words are peppered with varying accents displaying a plethora of diverse characters. All of this was utterly hilarious for all of two minutes.

The entire show centred around one evening and what was initially a witty update of the play, quickly became a never ending stream of nonsense. Although the piece was a condensed hour, it felt much longer (for all the wrong reasons).

I will say that Catherine Higgins was believable and funny as ‘Lucentio’, bringing a refreshing light to her interpretation.

Often criticised for its patriarchal and misogynistic themes, I was curious to see how the company would modernise the ‘Taming’. Paula Benson’s poor direction simply made ‘Katharina’ a simpering maiden who went from feisty to pussy cat in one scene.

Although the company shows promise and creativity, this interpretation leaves a bad taste in ones mouth and fails to progress from any further than the first scene.

Reviewed by Jimmy Richards
Photo: Emma Steele