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Bard's classic romp still has modern resonance.

Cranford actress Lisa Dillon is to take the lead role of Katharina in a new Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Taming of the Shrew. Lisa, who plays Mary Smith in the television drama, will play opposite David Caves as the sparring couple in Shakespeare's comedy of the sexes.

Lisa is no stranger to the Bard having previously played Desdemona in Othello for the RSC and appeared in As You Like It at the Sheffield Crucible.

David's previous productions include Troilus and Cressida and Macbeth for Cheek By Jowl and the UK tour of Stones in his Pockets.

Directed by Lucy Bailey, the play will be staged at the RSC before going on national tour.

Lucy says the play's themes remain relevant today.

"Although written over 400 years ago, The Taming of the Shrew is a surprisingly modern piece," she says.

"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."

* The Taming of the Shrew, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Jan 19-Feb 18, tickets: 0844 800 1110,
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jan 5, 2012
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