The Taming Of The Shrew (2008)

For the Pantaloons’ 2008 summer tour, their biggest one yet, the company decided to tackle one of the Bard’s earliest and most controversial comedies. It has that classic rom-com storyline: Boy meets girl! Girl physically assaults boy! Boy marries girl for money! Boy psychologically tortures girl! Girl makes a long speech about being subservient to boy! And they live happily ever after.

The comedy of The Taming of the Shrew is very dark indeed. But a bit of Pantaloonification (a process that involves mixing in copious amounts of irony, self-reflexivity and silliness then wrapping the whole thing in vivid primary colours) always helps to brighten things up!

So The Pantaloons took a family-friendly Shrew on the road – to more of the UK than ever before. Perhaps the most exciting new venue on their tour was The Scoop at More London, a concrete amphitheatre located on the south bank of the Thames – only a short walk from the reconstructed Globe where a reconstruction of Shakespeare himself would perform if anyone could reconstruct him. London-bound open-air Shakespeare fans were spoilt for choice, though many were swayed by the fact that The Pantaloons’ performance was completely free-of-charge…

A series of less-than-fortunate events (three blown tyres, two broken guitars, one semi-crushed van, two lost purses, three cyclists invading the stage, etc.) conspired against the plucky cast of five, but nothing could stop the sheer momentum of The Pantaloons’ most critically-acclaimed show yet. It kept on rolling like a fantastically-crafted horse-drawn cart full of props – which, funnily enough, is what the company employed for the very first time this year…

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The York Press

A winning compound of combustible energy, original song, affectionate send-up, improvised comedy, spontaneous audience participation, Las Vegas Elvis and Harry Potter!