2012 Toronto Fringe Festival: The Taming Of The Shrew

Lively and fresh, Shakespeare BASH’d offers the Bard at his bawdy best

Presented by Shakespeare BASH’d
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Eric Double

A drunk stumbles out of a bar on a hot summer evening. Not such an unusual sight, except the man happens to be speaking Elizabethan English, as do his pursuers. Of course, this head-turning display turns out to be the opening scene of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, now playing at the Victory Café as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival. Presented by Shakespeare BASH’d, the story begins with a framing device, in which a nobleman tricks the inebriated Christopher Sly (played by director Eric Double) into believing he is a Lord. The audience is then led inside the pub, where the play is performed for Sly’s amusement. The story centers around the house of Baptista (David Mackett), a Paduan lord with two maiden daughters: the oldest, Katherina or Kate (Julia Nish-Lapidus) is notorious for her fiery temper, while the younger, fairer Bianca (Sophia Fabiilli) has a trio of admirers–Hortensio (Kelly Penner), Grumio (David Ross) and Lucentio (Andy Cockburn)–competing for her hand. Their father will not allow Bianca to wed until he has married off the shrewish Kate, thus, Bianca's suitors work together to find a match. As it happens the fortune-seeking Petruchio (James Wallis) from Verona steps forward to "tame" the wild-tongued Kate using reverse psychology. A hilarious comedy of errors ensues, involving mistaken identities—Tranio (Jesse Griffiths) pretends to be Lucentio, while his master secretly woos Bianca disguised as a Latin tutor, and later, the two convince a wandering pedant to dress as Lucentio's father Vincentio to secure Bianca's dowry. The Taming of the Shrew features a charismatic cast, with hilarious and touching performances by soon-to-be married leads Wallis and Nish-Lapidus. The production is particulary effective when performed in a small bar. Beer flows as the performers race through the intimate space, making excellent use of corners and doorways. Don't miss this fun-loving staging of Shakespeare's controversial comedy. The Taming of the Shrew runs until July 15 at the Victory Café (581 Markham St.). Visit fringetoronto.com for a full schedule and to buy tickets.

Show Dates: 
Tue, 2012-07-10 - Sun, 2012-07-15
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