Shakespeare ReTold: The Taming of the Shrew

by | Nov 21, 2005 | All, Reviews

Did we like it?

With Shirley Henderson turning in a Bafta-worthy performance, of course we did. She absolutely stole the show, which was just as well as most of the other performances were unconvincing.

What was good about it?

• Shirley Henderson playing a female Tory MP as a cross between Violet Elizabeth Bott, Clare Grogan, Anne Widdecombe and that batty old bag in your neighbourhood who has arguments with bus stops and feeds pigeons. And despite slapping her private secretary, telling all and sundry to swivel and overturning a table in a swish restaurant, her vulnerability bubbled away beneath the vitriol.

• Rufus Sewell also shone as feckless Petrucio, the man brave enough/mad enough to marry her (“There is something really alluring, arousing, about the way you move your lips when you snarl”) – although he reminded us of Big Brother’s Nasty Nick at times.

• Writer Sally Wainwright, who sometimes amuses us but occasionally fails, delivered a riotous romp

• Kate’s refusal to accept there’s “the odd lifestyle issue it might be pertinent to address” – i.e. she’s unmarried but wants to be Tory leader. A ring on her finger may convince the electorate that she’s not “a dyke or mad or Hitler – or something”.

• Kate’s pragmatic approach to marriage to Petrucio, which, after some furious honeymoon rows, turned to adoration

• Santiago Cabrera, who played Italian boy Lucentio, is so hot.

What was bad about it?

• Many of the performances were unconvincing: Jaime Murray (too one-dimensional as sister Bianca, a beautiful model and a contrast to Kate’s beast), Stephen Tompkinson (too nerdy), Twiggy (too wooden) and David Mitchell (too similar to his Peep Show character)

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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