Tuesday 27th June to Saturday 1st July 1972
The production at the Nuffield Theatre followed a successful tour of the show to eight schools/venues throughout the Wessex region.
The Southampton Echo wrote:
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.
|Christopher Sly, a drunken tinker||Kenneth Spencer|
|Hostess of an Inn||Jenni Rodway|
|A Lord||Geoffrey Wharam|
|Servants||Chris Boxall, Bryan Bartlett|
|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|
|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|
|Dancers:||Members Of The Maskers Dance Drama Group|
|For the Maskers:|
|Directed by||Graham Buchanan|
|Set Designed and Painted by||John Hamon|
|Lighting||Derek Jones, Ivan White|
|Assisted by||Jo Bartlett|
|Stage Manager||Keith Hooper|
|Production Assistants||Ron Tillyer, Angela Dean, John Schwiller, John Riggs, Ron Avery|
|Administration||Avril Woodward, Judy Rake|
Click to enlarge press cutting
click on a photo to enlarge it