The Taming of the Shrew

by William Shakespeare

directed by Graham Buchanan

Performed at the

Nuffield Theatre


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.

  • Friday 5th May:   Stansbridge Earls - Romsey
  • Saturday 6th May:   Bembridge - Isle of Wight
  • Wednesday 10th May:   Avenue Hall - Southampton
  • Friday 12th May:   Northfallen Lodge - Sherfield on Lodden
  • Saturday 13th May:   Walhampton - Lymington
  • Sunday 14th May:   Melchet Court - Sherfield English
  • Monday 15th May:   Hilsea - Oakley
  • Tuesday 16th May:   Flexford House - Highclere

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

Download the Nuffield programme here

Download the Tour programme here

The Induction
Christopher Sly, a drunken tinker Kenneth Spencer
Hostess of an Inn Jenni Rodway
A Lord Geoffrey Wharam
Servants Chris Boxall, Bryan Bartlett
Maid Sandy White
Bartholomew 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
Tailor 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
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
Sound Geoff Grandy
Wardrobe Serena Brown
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
Properties Angela Stephens
Publicity John Carrington
Photographs Serena Brown

Click to enlarge press cutting


click on a photo to enlarge it

David Bartlett, Ray Green, Peter White
John Carrington, Sheana Carrington, David Bartlett, Peter Neve, Alan Newell
John Carrington, Sheana Carrington, Peter Neve
Sandy White, Geoffrey Wharam, Jenni Rodway
James Smith and Meg Newin
James Smith and Meg Newin
Kenneth Spencer, Sandy White
Sandy White, Kenneth Spencer, Geoffrey Wharam
Sandy White, Kenneth Spencer, Jenni Rodway
David Bartlett and Beckett Penington-Legh
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Established 1968

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