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The Taming of the Shrew (1975)

The Taming of the Shrew

A New Shakespeare Co. production of Shakespeare's play, performed during a regional tour (May 1975), at the Roundhouse, London (opened 3 June 1975) and Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, London (opened 23 June 1975).


The Taming of the Shrew image #1

The photo shows Katherina (played by ZoŽ Wanamaker), alongside Petruchio (Jeremy Irons).  It has been kindly provided by ZoŽ.


The Taming of the Shrew is a comedy about love and marriage.

Baptista, a gentleman of Padua, forbids his popular younger daughter, Bianca, to marry before his elder child, Katherina (known as Kate), has herself found a husband. 

Kate is considered troublesome, however, and so suitors for her hand are not forthcoming. 

The sisters' situation seems hopeless until the arrival of adventurer Petruchio, who determines to tame the apparently shrewish Kate.


Baptista ... Larry Noble
Katherina ... ZoŽ Wanamaker
Petruchio ... Jeremy Irons
Bianca ... Elizabeth Romilly
Hortensio ... Geoffrey Bateman
Vincentio ... Desmond Stokes
Lucentio ... Christopher Guard
Grumio ... Ian McNeice
Gremio ... Ray Callaghan
Tranio ... Charles Nowosielski
Biondello ... Andrew Dunford
Baptista's maid ... Christine Schofield
Curtis ... Tony Kilbane
A Pedant ... Richard Goolden
A Haberdasher ... David Cardy
A Tailor/a Priest ... Paul Wager
A Widow ... Jenny Short
A Lady ... Sally Greenwood
Waiters ... Clive Carter and Tony Kilbane
A Priest/a Servant ... Richard Earthly
An Officer/a Servant ... Brian Attree
A Servant ... Gene Foad


Director: Mervyn Willis
Designer: Bob Ringwood
Lighting Designer: Brian Benn


Zoe was familiar with The Taming of the Shrew when cast as Kate in this New Shakespeare Company production.  Earlier in 1975, she had played Kate's sister, Bianca, in Kiss Me Kate, the musical based on Shakespeare's comedy.

When The Taming of the Shrew reached London, it was intended to be performed only at the Open Air Theatre.  Its short spell at the Roundhouse resulted from delays in construction work at the other theatre.

While both Zoe and her co-star, Jeremy Irons, are now very well known to the public, the Open Air Theatre's website suggests that they were '[a]n unknown duo' at the time this production was performed.  That is not to say the pair were inexperienced actors.  Before starring in The Taming of the Shrew, ZoŽ had worked extensively in regional theatres, as well as at London's Young Vic.  Jeremy Irons's stagework is similarly impressive. 

Their involvement with the Royal Shakespeare Company would soon bring them both to greater prominence in London's theatrical circles.  In fact, as a member of the RSC, Zoe revisited The Taming of the Shrew in 1978.

Press coverage

Zoe's 'spectacularly fine' performance as Kate was praised by The Stage.


William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew (text)

Related links

The Taming of the Shrew production photos - TopFoto (search website using the keywords 'Zoe', 'Wanamaker', 'Taming', and 'Shrew' to view images)

The Taming of the Shrew production information - Designing Shakespeare Collection, AHDS Performing Arts Database

The Taming of the Shrew complete text - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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