THE magical setting of Araluen Botanic Park is playing host to one of Shakespeare’s funniest plays this November.
Directed by Paul Treasure for Roleystone Theatre, this version of The Taming of the Shrew evokes the 1950s.
Bianca is the most beautiful girl in Padua and wants to get married but her father insists her older sister Katherina be married first.
Katherina is intelligent, headstrong and something of a handful – and the hunt is on to find a man who can tame this shrew, so Bianca can marry the love of her life.
“Much of the humour comes from headstrong characters trying to outmanoeuvre each other,” Paul said.
“There is also a lot of opportunity for some very funny physical comedy and, at the same time, keeping the underlying themes relevant to a modern-day audience.
“Finding the right balance between making the characters believable and funny, while avoiding the pitfalls inherent in a 500-year-old plot about taming a woman, is a fine line.
“Read the wrong way, the play leans towards sexism – but, in the right hands, we see Katherina and her husband Petruchio are equal partners in mocking the cultural constructs of their society.”
Acting for more than 30 years, Paul has performed in most of Perth’s theatres – mainly with Roleystone, Kwinana and Marloo Theatres and the Mandurah Performing and Koorliny Arts Centres.
He has numerous acting awards and nominations to his credit, including a 2014 Finley Award for best actor in a musical for his role as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof with Murray Music and Drama.
In 2019, Paul directed The Mikado for the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of WA and previously directed an outdoor performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Araluen.
“We decided to set The Taming of the Shrew in the 1950s, an era rife with the sexism that can underlie the surface of the play,” Paul said.
“But it was also a time when women were starting to make themselves heard as independent people in their own right, rather than just being seen as their husbands’ accessories.”
The Taming of the Shrew plays at 4pm November 6, 7, 13 and 14. Tickets are $25, $20 concession and $10 children – book at www.trybooking.com/BUNMV (ticket price includes entry to Araluen).
Patrons are advised to bring a hat, sunglasses and picnic blanket or low chair. BYO alcohol is permitted and light refreshments will be available from the theatre kiosk and on-site cafe.
Araluen Botanic Park is at 362 Croyden Road, Roleystone.
shrew1: The Minola family – Bianca (Joanna Tyler, left), Baptista (Jane Sherwood) and Katharina (Kristen Twynam-Perkins) – in The Taming of the Shrew at Araluen. Picture: Zyg Woltersdorf
shrew2: The Taming of the Shrew features Kristen Twynam-Perkins, left, Patrick Downes, Nicquelle Rhodes, William Everett-Knight, Joanna Tyler and Ben Adcock. Picture: Zyg Woltersdorf
shrew3: Bianca (Joanna Tyler, second from left) and her suitors Lucentio (Ben Adcock), Gremio (Phillip Steele-Young) and Hortensio (William Everett-Knight) in The Taming of the Shrew. Picture: Zyg Woltersdorf
shrew4: Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew is being presented at Araluen in a 1950s style with Ben Adcock, Joanna Tyler, Jane Sherwood, Kristen Twynam-Perkins and Patrick Downes. Picture: Zyg Woltersdorf
Roleystone Theatre in WA has a long tradition with its beginnings in the 1930s as a choral and amateur dramatic society. The theatre group you see today has been evolving since the 1970s when a collection of interested locals began putting on quality performances of plays and musicals.
The theatre currently produces, on average, five major shows every year and is well known for the quality of our performers, sets and technical work.
The building itself has undergone many alterations however the bulk of the auditorium is an art-deco original and is Heritage listed. The building has facilities for persons with a disability or limited mobility, including ramps into the foyer and auditorium as well as an allocated restroom. For your comfort air conditioning and comfortable, padded chairs are features of othe auditorium.
There is also a licensed bar and well-stocked kiosk to cater for your refreshment needs at all performances.
P: 0402 530 529