Watch an open air performance of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew in Northampton park

It will be performed by Masque Theatre in the socially spaced courtyard of the Abington Park Museum

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 12:06 pm
Updated Friday, 2nd July 2021, 3:16 pm

Experience a Shakespeare Classic up close this month with an open air performance at Abington Park.

William Shakespeare s play, The Taming of the Shrew, will be performed by Masque Theatre at the socially spaced courtyard of the Abington Park Museum from Thursday, July 29 to Saturday, August 7. Performances will commence at 7.30pm.

The comedy was postponed as a result of last year's lockdown restrictions; it is often viewed as a battle of the sexes and is one of Shakespeare's most prominent plays.

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Petruchio (Mark Farey) and Kate (Beverley Webster).

Set in Italy’s Padua, the atmospheric courtyard of the museum lends itself to the plot based around Baptista, a local merchant, who wants to marry off his daughters. The youngest daughter, Bianca (Mairead Kearins) is the prettier one and a fair match for Lucentio (Tom Rose).

The problem - as Baptista sees it - is to marry the older Katherine, the shrew (Beverley Webster) to anyone who will take her on.

For her part, Kate wishes to have freedom from her father and be herself, even if it does make her noisy and ill-tempered in the bargain. Fate brings her Petruchio (Mark Farey) who is looking for a wealthy wife and he sees in Kate a woman of spirit and potential. It is their rather bumpy relationship at times that provides both the insight and humour of the play.

As usual with Shakespeare’s comedies, there is also a double plot of deliberate mixed identities, of servants behaving badly and the old being fooled by the young.

However, all turns out well in the end and Katherine and Petruchio’s match, though perhaps not quite made in heaven, is a loving and stronger bind than many would have thought possible, especially in Shakespeare’s times when woman were often thought of as only goods and 'chattels’.

The resounding ‘kiss me Kate’ from Petruchio toward the end of the play thus has a real meaning and passion to it.

The play is robustly directed by Clare Brittian and Mark Mortimer and will be dressed in period costume.

All tickets must be pre-ordered and pre-paid by visiting the Masque Theatre website at, or emailing: [email protected]

Tickets are restricted to 60 per night and, in the event of a performance being cancelled prior to starting, pre-paid tickets will be refunded.