Custom Practice presents The Taming of the Shrew

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Photography: Boris Mitkov


Above the Arts Theatre West End

An exhilarating retelling of Shakespeares’s dark comedy, where social absurdities are turned on their head to glorious comic effect.

As part of Custom/Practice’s month long Verve Festival at the Arts exploring shifting relations between minority groups and the theatre – with a focus on gender, race and disability – this unique production sees the main characters switch sex, in a world where the women hold the power and the men are ‘advantageously wed’.

A hilariously disorienting exploration that breathes new life into to this darkest of Shakespearean comedies.

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Cast includes: Martina Laird (Casualty, Jericho , Shameless, A Touch of Frost ) with Kazeem Tosin Amore, Karlina Grace, Catherine Lamb, Brigid Lohrey, Eugenia Caruso, Tim Bowie, Tracy Green, Kayla Meikle and Lorenzo Martelli.

Comments from the critics on Custom/Practice’s previous classical productions:

“…the kind of energy and enthusiasm that Shakespeare thrives upon…”

∗∗∗∗ TimeOut on As You Like It

“…this exuberant production gives this well-loved comedy a sparkling freshness.”

∗∗∗∗ What’sOnStage on Twelfth Night

“…dynamic and powerful…this splendid production was enthusiastically applauded”

British Theatre Guide on Romeo & Juliet

“…one of the most accessible and intelligent productions of, arguably, one of the favorites in the Shakespeare repertoire.”

British Theatre Guide on A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Verve Festival Highlights

Lunchtime theatre
Verve Festival presents 45 minute renditions of five of the Shakespeare’s well-loved classics. Cast won’t know which role they’ll be playing until they pull a name from a hat five minutes before they go on stage, preconceptions will be challenged, stereotypes dashed  and assumptions quashed – this is colour blind and gender blind casting at its most literal! Weekdays will rotate between Macbeth, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, Romeo & Juliet, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Robert Poulter’s New Model Theatre
Sundays see a fascinating diorama performance from Robert Poulter’s New Model Theatre;  Those Fearless Female Flyers is high speed puppet-based adventure telling the story of four pioneering women pilots of the 1920s & 30s, who against all the odds took to the air and achieved a number of astounding flying firsts;

Comedy and Cabaret
Saturday nights see the coming together of London’s best cabaret stars – an eclectic mix of music and song from some of the UK’s most innovative cabaret performers; Mondays will be comedy night, with all acts showcasing the celebration of diversity that is at the heart of the Verve Festival with a refreshing mix of stand-up, sketches and musical comedy mayhem

Verve Platforms:
Verve platforms are a series of discussions from leading UK Theatre Makers which bring a chance to celebrate the cultural diversity of theatre makers, and find out more about what we have in common, as well as the differences that make us unique. The platforms explore how we can use this understanding to create engaging and exceptional theatre that celebrates diversity and motivates constructive change.

Tuesdays: Minorities in Theatre : Career Perspectives
Wednesdays: The work and lives of feminist theatre makers past and present – insight discussions led by Dr Naomi Paxton.