by William Shakespeare


Directed by Graham Buchanan


The Maskers Theatre Company presented Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" at the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton from Tuesday 27th June to Saturday 1st July 1972. The production at the Nuffield Theatre followed a successful tour of the show to eight schools throughout the Wessex region.


The Southampton Echo wrote;


A Victorian Shrew


There has been more than the usual share of Shakespeare plays at the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton this year. But the one which is most successful in catching the spirit of the Bard’s work is easily the current production of  “The Taming of the Shrew” by the Maskers.


A show full of zest, inventiveness and good characterisation, it is all entertainment. It was originally the company’s touring production for schools: but then a date became available at the Nuffield. It has been in preparation since February, with extra rehearsals and school shows. This has paid off in one of the best-rehearsed and best- realised amateur productions I have seen for many a long month.


The cast, with total confidence, have set the play in Victorian/Edwardian times mainly, I understand, because they were the costumes they had available, and it was never intended as a prestige production. Sets, by John Hamon, simple and minimal, are ideal.


Director, Graham Buchanan, who appears as Bartholomew in the induction scene, is able to keep an eye on the production from the sidelines as he sits with Sly. It is his first full-length production for the Maskers and I hope it is not his last. Many of the splendid touches --- Petruchio’s “Olé!” Biondello’s marathon speeded-up speech, and the pefect timing of the odd bits of business --- may well have been provided by the cast themselves.


One of the faults of many amateur productions is a tendency to make characters too similar. But not here. Team effort as it is, there are a few names that must be mentioned: the ubiquitous James Smith, back at the Nuffield after only a few weeks break, was last seen in the Pinter programme. He has a whale of a time as Perruchhio. Meg Newin is his mate, Kate, who makes the change from fascinating shrewishness to irritating sweetness with conviction. Then there is Alan Newell as Germio, Ken Hann as Grumio, Ray Green as Biondello and Peter White as Tranio.


A thoroughly enjoyable evening and if you have a mental block about Shakespeare hanging over from schooldays, this should cure it.


Jasmine Profit




Christopher Sly, a drunken tinker.

Kenneth Spencer

Hostess of an Inn

Jenni Rodway

A Lord

Geoffrey Wharam


Chris Boxall, Bryan Bartlett


Sandy White


Graham Buchanan



The Taming of the Shrew


Baptista Minola, a wealthy citizen of Padua

David Bartlett

Katherina The Shrew, elder daughter of Baptista

Meg Newin

Petruchio, a gentleman of Verona, suitor to Katherine

James Smith

Grumio, Petruchio's personal lackey 

Ken Hann

Curtis, Petruchio's servant 

Robert Wilson

Nathaniel, Petruchio's servant.

Chris Boxall

Gregory, Petruchio's servant .

Bryan Bartlett

Cook to Petruchio

Sandy White


Harry Manns

Bianca, The Prize. Younger daughter of Baptista

Sheana Carrington

Germio, wealthy.old citizen of Padua, suitor to Bianca

Alan Newell

Hortensio, gentleman of Padua, suitor to Bianca

Peter Neve

Lucentio, gentleman of Pisa, in love with Bianca

John Carrington

Tranio, Lucentio's servant and confident

Peter White

Biondello, Lucentio's second servant 

Ray Green

Vincentio, wealthy citizen of Pisa, father of Lucentio

Becket Pennington Legh

Pedant of Mantua.

Michael Shailer

A Widow,in love with Hortensio

Mollie Manns


Members Of The Maskers Dance Drama Group


For The Maskers


Directed by

Graham Buchanan

Set Designed And Painted By

John Hamon


Derek Jones, Ivan White


Geoff Grandy


Serena Brown

Assisted By

Jo Bartlett

Stage Manager

Keith Hooper

Production Assistants

Ron Tillyer, Angela Dean, John Schwiller, John Riggs, Ron Avery


Avril Woodward, Judy Rake


Angela Stephens


John Carrington


Serena Brown