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An outdoor Shakespeare and an indoor farce in Yorkshire!

Jan McNulty

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My friend and I had a lovely evening in the ruins of Knaresborough Castle on Wednesday evening courtesy of the Theatre of the Dales company.


This year they presented an item called "Get thee a wife" for the first part of the evening and an abridged "Taming of the Shrew" after the interval.  Fortunately this year the weather stayed dry and there was a good audience of around 200.


"Get thee a wife!" was "narrated" by William Shakespeare and consisted of about half a dozen scenes from different plays including Romeo and Juliet's first meeting, a tiff between Beatrice and Benedict, Viola and Olivia's first meeting and ending with Puck's final speech from Midsummer Night's Dream.  It was informative as well as amusing.


The Taming of the Shrew was very well abridged, fitting into an hour.  It tended to concentrate on the humour although some of the mysogeny did come through.  Beth Kilburn and Tom Middler were superb as Kate and Petruchio.


It's a wonderful way to spend a summer evening and I am already looking forward to next year!


Yesterday afternoon I finally caught up with the current touring production of Michael Frayn's Noises Off.  It is a farce about a touring theatre company and has 3 acts (all act 1!) comprising the technical/dress rehearsal of act 1, a performance of act 1 from backstage and the final performance of the tour.  Maureen Beattie and Neil Pearson led the excellent ensemble cast.  It really is hilarious - there is a lot of physical humour as well as sharp lines.  I was laughing so much the tears were absolutely tripping me by the end of the performance.  Do see it if you get the chance!





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