Shakespeare in the Park: The Taming of the Shrew

THE magical setting of Araluen Botanic Park is playing host to one of Shakespeare’s funniest plays this November.

Directed by Paul Treasure for Roleystone Theatre, this version of The Taming of the Shrew evokes the 1950s.

Bianca is the most beautiful girl in Padua and wants to get married but her father insists her older sister Katherina be married first.

Katherina is intelligent, headstrong and something of a handful – and the hunt is on to find a man who can tame this shrew, so Bianca can marry the love of her life.

“Much of the humour comes from headstrong characters trying to outmanoeuvre each other,” Paul said.

“There is also a lot of opportunity for some very funny physical comedy and, at the same time, keeping the underlying themes relevant to a modern-day audience.

“Finding the right balance between making the characters believable and funny, while avoiding the pitfalls inherent in a 500-year-old plot about taming a woman, is a fine line.

“Read the wrong way, the play leans towards sexism ­– but, in the right hands, we see Katherina and her husband Petruchio are equal partners in mocking the cultural constructs of their society.”

Acting for more than 30 years, Paul has performed in most of Perth’s theatres – mainly with Roleystone, Kwinana and Marloo Theatres and the Mandurah Performing and Koorliny Arts Centres.

He has numerous acting awards and nominations to his credit, including a 2014 Finley Award for best actor in a musical for his role as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof with Murray Music and Drama.

In 2019, Paul directed The Mikado for the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of WA and previously directed an outdoor performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Araluen.

“We decided to set The Taming of the Shrew in the 1950s, an era rife with the sexism that can underlie the surface of the play,” Paul said.

“But it was also a time when women were starting to make themselves heard as independent people in their own right, rather than just being seen as their husbands’ accessories.”

The Taming of the Shrew plays at 4pm November 6, 7, 13 and 14. Tickets are $25, $20 concession and $10 children – book at (ticket price includes entry to Araluen).

Patrons are advised to bring a hat, sunglasses and picnic blanket or low chair. BYO alcohol is permitted and light refreshments will be available from the theatre kiosk and on-site cafe.

Araluen Botanic Park is at 362 Croyden Road, Roleystone.


Event details

Venue: Araluen Botanic Park, 362 Croyden Road, Roleystone

4pm November 6, 7, 13 and 14. Tickets are $25, $20 concession and $10 children.