Shakespeare’s battle of the sexes

Lisa Dillon in the RSC's The Taming Of The Shrew.

Lisa Dillon in the RSC's The Taming Of The Shrew.

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The Royal Shakespeare Company’s new production of The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare’s sometimes controversial romantic comedy exploring love and sexual politics, will be visiting the Theatre Royal, Nottingham, from March 13-17.

Directed by Lucy Bailey, the production features Lisa Dillon and David Caves as the sparring lovers, Katharina and Petruchio.

Lisa Dillon is known to millions as Mary Smith in the BBC drama Cranford. Onstage, she has played Desdemona in Othello for the RSC, with other stage credits including The Hour We Knew Nothing Of Each Other and Present Laughter (National Theatre), The Cherry Orchard and As You Like It (Sheffield Crucible), Design for Living (Old Vic) and Period of Adjustment and Hedda Gabler (Almeida).

David Caves’s previous work includes The Beggar’s Opera (Open Air Theatre), Macbeth and Troilus and Cressida (Cheek By Jowl), and Stones in his Pockets (UK tour).

Lucy Bailey’s acclaimed RSC production of Julius Caesar enjoyed successful seasons in Stratford-upon-Avon, London, and most recently as part of the RSC’s 2011 residency in New York.

Talking about the forthcoming production of The Taming of the Shrew, she said: “Although written over 400 years ago, The Taming of the Shrew is a surprisingly modern piece.

“Shakespeare explodes the orthodox view of marriage as primarily a business transaction that ensures financial security and legitimate descendents.

“Instead, he champions marriage as a meeting of souls, and an instinctive love bond with one’s true mate. What is hilarious and at times disturbing in The Shrew is that these intimate negotiations often take place in painfully public arenas and become a kind of voyeuristic spectator sport for the curious and the idle.

“The beauty of the play is that Kate and Petruchio finally come to a private understanding that is profound and indestructible.”

Tickets cost £12-£29.50 and are available from the box office on 0115 989 5555.