The Taming of the Shrew (2023)

Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Karen Carleton

Performed in: St Enda's Park, Rathfarnham & Kilruddery Sylvan Theatre, Bray, Co Wicklow.

poster for Summer Shakespeare

Set in Italy, in the city of Padua, Shakespeare takes the threads of several love and marriage sub-plots and spins them into the fine yarn that is The Taming of the Shrew, which appears to have been written between 1590 and 1592.

“We will have rings, and things, and fine array.”

Lucentio, a rich young man, is excited to arrive with his servants, Tranio and Biondello, to begin his studies at the local university. His eyes are diverted from his books when his gaze is drawn to Bianca, a beautiful, gentle young woman. With little or no delay, he falls in love – besmitten and besotted – head over heals and head first into two big problems.

Bianca is already being pursued by two suitors, Gremio and Hortensio; and her father, the wealthy Baptista Minola, has decided that her older sister, the vicious, ill-tempered Katherine, must be married before any man may show more than a passing interest in Bianca.

“Tis hatch’d and shall be so.”

Undaunted, Lucentio sets out to climb up and over any and all obstacles placed in the way of his pursuit of true love. How he goes about tackling these problems spins the first of a series of threads that get knitted (and tangled) into the fabric of this enduring comedy.

The centre of the story, and the answer to Lucentio’s prayers, is the prospect of success in the courtship of Petruchio and Katherine, who appears unwilling to be ‘tamed’. Strong man Petruchio takes on strong woman Katherine in a series of ‘challenges’ – the rest (and the result) will be revealed in this Balally Players ‘Shakespeare in the Park’ presentation in June and July.

poster for Over the River

“If I be waspish, best beware my sting.”

This year's 'Shakespeare in the Park' will open in St Enda's Park, Rathfarnham.

The performances in the Walled Gardens of St Enda's Park were on Sunday 25, Tuesday 27, Thursday 29 and Friday 30 June 2023.

The Pearse Museum and St Enda’s Park is where Patrick Pearse lived and ran his innovative Irish-speaking school, Scoil Éanna, between 1910-16.

The museum and park are approximately 8Km from Dublin City Centre. The address, Saint Enda's Park, Grange Road, Dublin, D16 Y7Y5, is served by the number 16 bus, which stops close to the main entrance to the park on Grange Road. The numbers 17, 75, and 61 also serve the Rathfarnham area. There is car parking available on the site.

For more about the venue, visit the Pearse Museum website.

The play was also be performed in Killruddery Sylvan Theatre, in the grounds of Killruddery House, Southern Cross, Bray, Co Wicklow. The Killruddery performances were on Thursday 6 and Friday 7 July 2023. The shows in Killruddery started later at 8pm.

Readings of 'Juggernaut' in late 2023
Image produced from photos by Michael Lysaght

Killruddery House & Gardens is situated 20Kms south of Dublin, just beyond Bray in Co. Wicklow. Take the M50 southbound onto the N11 then take Exit 7, the Bray/Greystones exit and follow signs to Greystones. The venue is on the right near the end of the Southern Cross road leading from the N11 to the Greystones Road. Eircode: A98 W9F2 – GPS: 53.184907, -6.102392 For more about Killruddery House, visit the Killruddery website.

The play was directed by Karen Carleton.


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