After the terrible blow of having to cancel the final week of its stellar season of Triple X by Glace Chase, and now with the easing of lockdown, Queensland Theatre has commenced rehearsals for Taming of the Shrew immediately after the Easter break.

Queensland Theatre is inviting audiences to an Italian silent film set for its highly anticipated season of Taming of the Shrew from 8 May to 5 June, led by Damien Ryan, one of Australia’s most lauded directors of Shakespeare. Under his considered, clever direction, this production will not only speak to the ‘anger of my heart’ felt by many women in Australia right now, but also to the promise of a love that frees rather than subordinates a great woman.

“In the early days of film, women were very much the stars, but fundamental to their stardom was a silencing of their voices,” says multi-award winning director and actor, Damien Ryan. “It’s a paradoxical setting. The early 20th century was really a turning point, with the rise of the aviatrix, of suffragettes, and with the advent of talkies, a woman’s voice on celluloid — but only after she’s been tucked and squished, then smeared with make-up, to look the part of feminine beauty on camera. It’s within that illusion of power, within a world of playfulness and role playing, that we are setting Taming of the Shrew and I hope to have an enormous amount of fun!”

Ryan hopes that the question in the hearts of audiences after the play will be: what would you do for love? Not just to be loved, but to give love? “I want the experience in the Bille Brown Theatre to be of a really extraordinary love story — a messy, complex, at times disagreeable, but very funny, very moving, strangely satisfying love story. I think every successful relationship makes sense to the people who are in it. Other people’s rules and judgements don’t apply. It’s indefinable to anyone on the outside, and that holds true for Katharina (Kate) and Petruchio,” he suggests.

“I hope to find a story of a couple that will eventually just do anything for each other, absolutely selflessly anything. Not just Kate to Petruchio, but also he, entirely to her. We have a wonderful cast to interrogate that and provoke each other and challenge the story.”

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