A historic production of Shakespeare’s popular comedy, THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, will be presented at the Maynardville Open-Air Theatre next year, directed by Tara Notcutt and featuring an all-female cast and creative team. Presented by Siv Ngesi and The Pink Couch, in association with Artscape, the Maynardville Open-Air Theatre Trust, and Liquidmatch Productions, THE TAMING OF THE SHREW will be performed from 7 February until 3 March 2018. The production forms part of the inaugural Maynardville Open-Air Festival, featuring an exciting programme of music, dance, comedy and more, under the stars at Maynardville.
Award-winning director Notcutt is making history with something never before seen on a South African stage: an all-female version of a Shakespeare play. She leads some of South Africa’s most celebrated actresses in a version of THE TAMING OF THE SHREW like it has never been seen before: a meeting of classic text with modern twists, including lip-synching, 90s fashion, and an all-female cast playing men and playing women, supported by an all-female creative team. Dara Beth (Nasty Womxn, Just a Song and a Dance) is Assistant Director.
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW is Shakespeare’s wonderful battle of the sexes. Matters of gender, marriage, and family come together in this dark comedy of Kate, a headstrong woman, and her tempestuous relationship with Petruchio, the man who is set on wooing and winning her.
In the lead role of Kate is Alicia McCormick (Angels on Horseback: Reloaded, Dirty Words), Daneel van der Walt (Dani and the Lion, The Rocky Horror Show) as Petruchio and Buhle Ngaba (...Missing, The Swan Song) as Kate’s sister Bianca. Lynita Crofford (An Audience with Miss Hobhouse, Violet Online) plays Baptista; Dianne Simpson (Rose Red, The Sisters Ugly) is Gremio and Ann Juries (Krotoa Van Vandag, Hectic Nine 9) plays Grumio. Kathleen Stephens (I Love You Sally Field and Other Stories, Nasty Womxn) is Lucentio, Naledi Majola (The Dangerous Misadventures of Order and Chaos, All of it, Everything, Now, Together) is Tranio, Kate Pinchuck (My Children! My Africa!, Down to A Sunless Sea) is Hortensio and Masali Baduza (Nasty Womxn, The Circle of Life: An Adaptation of The Lion King) is Biondello.
Costume Design is by Mariechen Vosloo, Set Design and Decor by Jo Glanville and Lighting Design by Ronel Jordaan. Choreography is by Cleo Notcutt.
In the 62 year history of Maynardville Open-Air Theatre, THE TAMING OF THE SHREW has been performed five times – the first production at Maynardville in 1956, then 1965, 1984, 1996, and 2011.
“I am honoured to be directing my first Shakespearean play at Cape Town’s iconic Shakespearean venue,” says Notcutt. “This historic production is a first, featuring an all female cast and team, while at the same time, honouring the vision of Maynardville’s founders - to present world-class productions of Shakespeare’s plays in the magic of an open-air venue. It is fitting that THE TAMING OF THE SHREW was the first play presented at Maynardville, and now it is taking us into the next era.”
Notcutt is a celebrated and prolific director. THE TAMING OF THE SHREW will be her fiftieth show that she directs. At 31, Notcutt is also the youngest person to direct a play at Maynardville and the fifth woman to do so. Notcutt has worked in many styles, from intimate drama and physical theatre, to illusion and opera, and now makes her Shakespearean debut. Her directing credits include the international touring hit play …miskien (2009-2014 in cities around South Africa, Amsterdam 2011, Perth 2012, Baxter Theatre 2014), comic book storytelling such as Mafeking Road (2010-2012 at every major national arts festival), Undermined (2014-2017 National Arts Festival, Perth 2015), and the cult political satirical thriller The Three Little Pigs (2012-2014 at every major national arts festival, Baxter Theatre 2013, Perth 2013, Amsterdam, 2013, and Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013).
The Maynardville Open-Air Festival 2018 is a brand new festival of music, dance and more – with a classical spin and some contemporary spice. Catch performances by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cape Town City Ballet, a comedy season run by the Cape Town Comedy Club and a variety of Cape Town’s top performing artists in the beautiful outdoor setting of the Maynardville Open-Air Theatre.
The Maynardville Open-Air Festival 2018 is produced by LiquidMatch Productions and the Maynardville Open-Air Theatre Trust and supported by Diemersfontein Wines and Artscape Theatre Centre.
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW will run from 7 February until 3 March 2018 at 20:15 Monday to Saturdays. Tickets cost from R150 to R220. Spoil someone you love on the extra special Valentine’s Night on Wednesday 14 February, including prizes to be won on the evening. Bookings will be through Computicket on 0861 915 8000, online at www.computicket.com or at any Shoprite Checkers outlet.