Shakespeare in the open air

Taming Of The Shrew by Ashrow Theatre Company.
Taming Of The Shrew by Ashrow Theatre Company.

Theatregoers in Derby are set for a distinctly groovy treat later this month as Ashrow Theatre Company performs one of Shakespeare’s greatest problem comedies, 1970s-style.

The Derby-based professional theatre company will be performing The Taming of the Shrew at open-air venues around the city and surrounding area from mid-July.

And the show, which opens its run at Allestree Park on Saturday, July 14, also has a real local flavour, with all actors in the cast and crew either hailing from East Midlands or now living in the region.

A long-time favourite with theatre audiences, The Taming of the Shrew tells the story of Katerina – the Shrew – and Petruchio, the cash-strapped gallant who agrees to woo her for a slice of her father’s fortune.

Meanwhile, suitors conspire to win the hand of her younger, prettier sister, Bianca, by fair means and foul.

Traditionally set in Italy, the action has been transposed to Southern Ireland in the 1970s,

The show follows on from Ashrow’s recent success with the play Being Nice, which performed recently at Derby Theatre and the Stratford Fringe Festival, as was nominated for the Best Theatre Production at the Buxton Fringe Festival in 2011.

Producer Rowan Scarborough, who also plays Katerina in The Taming of the Shrew, said: “This is a very ambitious thing for us to do but things are going brilliantly.

“We have a wonderful cast and a very gifted director in Jenny. This is going to be a real treat for theatre-lovers - some brilliant acting, some beautiful outdoor settings and, hopefully, some wonderful weather.”

The Taming of the Shrew is being performed at 4pm at Allestree Park on Saturday, July 14, then again at 6pm on Friday, July 20. It is also being performed at 6pm at Arboretum Park Derby on Thursday, July 19, and at 3pm at Shipley Park, near Heanor, on Saturday, July 21.

Tickets, which cost £12 for adults, £10 concessions and £8 for children (5-15), are available on 01332 255800. Family tickets (two adults, two children – £30, one adult, two children - £25, one adult one child - £16) are also available.