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The Chiltern Shake­speare Com­pany re­cently per­formed The Tam­ing of the Shrew at Bea­cons­field’s Hall Barn. HE­LEN SEN­DALL re­views the show

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - ON SHOW -

OCAL theatre does not get any bet­ter than this! Hall Barn in Bea­cons­field was the idyl­lic set­ting for this en­er­getic, witty and vis­ually beau­ti­ful out­door pro­duc­tion of Tam­ing of the Shrew by the Chiltern Shake­speare Com­pany.

It cracks along at a rol­lick­ing pace and is ut­terly cap­ti­vat­ing from start to fin­ish.

The strik­ing set of an Ital­ian pi­azza is adorned with pil­lars, a foun­tain, a trompe l’oeil of Padua and beau­ti­ful plants and benches, a per­fect back­drop for the sump­tu­ous and, at times, amus­ing cos­tumes.

Emily Tay­lor-Calling­ham shines as the fiery, hot-blooded and mis­un­der­stood Kate. She storms onto the scene and drags us kick­ing and scream­ing on her jour­ney, her ex­pres­sive face cap­tur­ing ev­ery­thing from in­dig­nant rage to great ten­der­ness.

Jamie Kwasnik was im­pres­sive as the de­li­ciously ar­ro­gant Petru­cio, de­light­ing us with his ab­surd mood swings, child­ish petu­lance and be­wil­der­ing energy as he will­fully at­tempts to tame his shrew. The Chiltern Shake­speare Com­pany per­formed The Tam­ing of the Shrew at Hall Barn

Jean Warner as Gru­mio along with the rest of Petru­cio’s ser­vants are a joy to watch and pro­vide many of the play’s great­est laughs. But the en­tire ensem­ble worked seam­lessly as a team to bring one of Shake­speare’s more thought-pro­vok­ing plays into glo­ri­ous light.

A spe­cial men­tion to the tal­ented Suzie McPher­son who, as well as her vi­va­cious por­trayal of Bion­dello, chore­ographed all of the move­ment, fights and lively tus­sles.

This was a fast-paced, highly phys­i­cal and comedic pro­duc­tion and was def­i­nitely one not to be missed.

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