The Taming Of The Shrew is a tough sell – either you ignore (or finesse) the brutal breaking of Kate’s spirit, or you make it the central theme. Cygnet Theatre choose the latter, cutting the play with ruthless efficiency until almost all that remains is a tale of control and abuse, although this might have worked better had the comic relief been cut entirely. Whilst this paring down largely works, the gender swapping is less effective – Tessa Gaukroger makes an excellent cold, domineering and wholly selfish Petruchio, but Matthew Neighbour’s Kate comes across as needlessly aggressive, rather than a feisty free spirit. Overall, this is a decent effort to tell a difficult tale that just doesn’t quite pull it off.
Sweet Grassmarket, 13-24 (not 18), 6.20pm.
tw rating 3/5 | [Andrew Bell]