Sherman Theatre and Tron Theatre Company are delighted to announce the cast for their world premiere co-production of Jo Clifford’s bold new play based on Shakespeare’s The Taming of The Shrew. The production directed by Michael Fentiman runs at Sherman Theatre, Cardiff from 28 Feb – 16 Mar and Tron Theatre, Glasgow from 20 – 30 Mar.
In this bawdy and riotous take on the contentious classic, Jo Clifford turns Shakespeare’s original on its head and paints a world in which women hold all the power. An exceptional cast including the best of Welsh and Scottish acting talent has been assembled for this production. Scarlett Brookes (Junkyard, Headlong/Bristol Old Vic/ TheRose /Theatr Clwyd) will play Petruchio with Matt Gavan (Fanny and Alexander, The Old Vic) taking the role of Katherina. The cast also features Welsh actors Alexandria Riley (Alice in Wonderland, The Cherry Orchard, How My Light Is Spent, Sherman Theatre, The Motherf**ker with the Hat, Sherman Theatre & Tron Theatre Company) as Tranio/Biondello/Curtis, Claire Cage (Snout, Leviathan, Sherman Theatre and Òran Mór; Bang, S4C) as Gremio/Grunio/Pedant and François Pandolfo (Alice in Wonderland, Sherman Theatre, The Motherf**ker with the Hat, Sherman Theatre & Tron Theatre Company) as Muriel/Bianca. They are joined by Louise Ludgate (World Domination, Sherman Theatre and Òran Mór, Taggart, SMG) as 1st Player/Baptista/Vincentio and Hannah Jarrett-Scott (Pride and Prejudice *Sort Of, Tron Theatre) as Lucentio.
Jo Clifford has said about her new version of The Taming of the Shrew: "I was asked to adapt The Taming of the Shrew way back at the beginning of my career. But I hated the bullying and the misogyny in the play so profoundly that I turned the commission down. It's a huge joy to return to the play now and transform it from a queer perspective. So my Shrew no longer supports the patriarchy. Instead it turns it upside down. And it allows us to dream of a matriarchal world...."
Rachel O’Riordan, Sherman Theatre’s former Artistic Director, who commissioned the play has said: “Jo Clifford, as a Trans writer, felt to me to be an exciting choice to respond to this play through the prism of a modern society, through her own experience and in a cultural environment where gender is fluid and coded behaviour is becoming less endemic. I am so excited to see what happens with Jo and Michael Fentiman, who is directing this. It feels timely, bold and relevant – in keeping with the Sherman legacy of new work over the past 5 years.”
The Taming of the Shrew is Sherman Theatre’s second collaboration with Tron Theatre Company, following last spring’s highly successful production of Stephen Adly Guirgis’s The Motherf**ker with the Hat.