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20 April 2014
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Your Reviews

Your Reviews

Here's a selection of the hundreds of reviews we received for The Taming of the Shrew.


"I am now insanely in love with Rufus Sewell and it's all your fault.

If you must produce intelligent, funny comedy that hugs the spirit of the original - I insist that in future you adopt a more responsible attitude.

"Kindly send Mr Sewell over post-haste."
Kindly cast people who are less likely to disturb the composure of your more serene viewers. Some of us are single and I understand that licking the television screen is, at best, unwise. Although it was pleasantly tingly.

Failing that, kindly send Mr Sewell over post-haste."

Rachel Coldbreath, London


"The funniest play I have watched in years. My stomach still aches."

Nick Ramsbottom, Norwich


"I really want to praise the BBC and its writers on this drama, I absolutely loved it! At first I was sceptical because I love the original plays in their true form and I wondered how skilfully done this would be. Yet I was delighted to watch it. It was acted very well indeed; and the adaptation from the real story was incredible, very well translated into today's language. I adored the drama so much that I felt compelled to write and praise you."

Rose Garratt (17), Southampton


"Absolutely brilliant. I watched with my two feminist daughters, and all three of us were entranced to the end. Great casting, Shakespeare would have approved!!"

Mrs Matts, Leicester


"Thank you! The best thing I've seen on television for years. Rufus Sewell and Shirley Henderson were absolutely brilliant.
"This added just the right amount of aggressive sexuality to bring it smack bang into the 21st century."


I have always loved this play, but this adaptation added just the right amount of aggressive sexuality to bring it smack bang into the 21st century. Top marks to all involved."

Carol, Kent


"Not being familiar with Shakespeare's version, to me this just came across as a very original piece of contemporary drama - well written by the ever-wonderful Sally Wainwright and acted out so fantastically over the top by Shirley Henderson and Rufus Sewell - who somehow still managed to look big and masculine in a mini skirt and mascara!"

Louise, Yorkshire


"I felt that this captured the spirit of Shakespeare's original pretty well. The writing, acting and directing were all good.

I was interested to see how the submission scene (which sits rather awkwardly in the original) would be handled and I thought that it worked as well as it could have. Katherine and Petruchio have a far more balanced relationship at the beginning of the 21st century.

It's a shame that there aren't more characters like Katherine Minola in modern British politics! "

Heidi Topman, London


"Rufus Sewell looks far too comfortable in tights."
"This made me laugh more than any other TV drama in ages. Shirley Henderson does a brilliant impersonation of a wild cat on heat and Rufus Sewell looks far too comfortable in those tights and heels. Delightful."

Anna, Leicestershire


"I thought that this adaptation was absolutely fantastic. The two leading roles were superb, they drew one in with their exquisite acting skills. Well done. "

Sonia, Cambridge


"Keep up this quality and nobody will moan about the licence fee. Riveting performances from the cast, brilliantly written and above all, entertaining from start to finish. The jewel so far in a memorable series."

Nick Walker, Eastbourne


"I did enjoy this, but I think it wasn't anywhere near as good as Much Ado About Nothing and Macbeth. The end did not fit the story - it was rather sexist and I didn't like it."

Sophia, London


"I've never felt compelled to write in to anything before but after watching the brilliant Taming of the Shrew on Monday I just had to. The adaptation, acting, costumes, all were just perfect.
"I have never laughed so often during a tv programme."

I have never laughed so often during a TV programme. I just couldn't believe what class I was watching and did not take my eyes off the screen once. Whoever thought this one up and got the terrific actors together truly deserves a medal!"

Emma G, Swansea


"I did not read Shakespeare at school, so had no knowledge of the storyline, nor have I ever been interested enough to go to any Shakespeare. However, seeing this was a modern version I decided to try, and really enjoyed the whole programme. Both from the story point of view which I found to be so different from anything I have known before, and the acting which was superb. A real treat - I think everyone involved should be congratulated."

Ann Jones, Huntingdon


"Absolutely brilliant. Very poignant and funny. Think Shirley Henderson is an excellent actress. Recorded it in order to watch it and intend to watch it again and again. Am an avid Shakespeare watcher and amateur thespian, but not in the least averse to the entertaining new take on these classics."

Deb Hounsell, Farnham, Surrey


"Superb - I loved the flawless casting and the hilarious script, plus the glamour of Kate's honeymoon villa and Bianca's lifestyle. The BBC has shown that it's capable of tackling any challenge and producing a brilliant result with buckets of style.
"Loved the glamour of Kate's honeymoon villa and Bianca's lifestyle!"

Shirley Henderson and Rufus Sewell were amazingly well-matched throughout the production and their effortless heated exchanges had me laughing all the way through. Brilliant."

Natalie, Beckenham


"I've always found this play to be incredibly sad, the way Kate's spirit is broken, but this clever adaptation enabled her to partially be tamed, but without the broken spirit, and an undeniably upbeat ending. Fab acting from all. Well done."

Jo, Buckinghamshire


"Wonderful! Captured the core of the play beautifully. The cut and thrust of the dialogue between Kate and Petruchio was brilliant. Only one question, are we meant to accept Harry Kavanagh as Gremio and Hortensio rolled into one? If it was due to financial constraints, OK, but I'm of the opinion that you missed the opportunity to create a good double act there. However, that takes nothing away from a first rate bit of telly and a large slice of propaganda for the bard. Well done Beeb!"

Bill Mitton, Manchester


"Taming of the Shrew - compulsive viewing. If only life was as adaptable! Where did that voice come from - Middle Earth?"

D Brearley, Sandbach


"Absolutely fantastic. One of the best pieces of television for ages. I shall now go back and read The Taming of the Shrew. Shirley Henderson and Rufus Sewell were brilliant. I found them funny, scary and totally believable (even Rufus in knee high boots).

The best of the retellings so far and I loved the first two."

D Back, Southampton


"This lively rom-com romp was great fun and show-cased two wonderful performances from its leads. Shirley Henderson was the epitome of comic waspishness, her endearingly diminutive Kate literally quivering with repressed spitting fury and rude middle finger gestures at the ready. Sort of Anne Widdecombe with an ASBO.
" Shirley Henderson was the epitome of comic waspishness - Ann Widdecombe with an ASBO."



This could have been a very tricky characterisation to pull off convincingly; let's not forget those dreadful old sit-coms with the depressingly stereotypical 'female shrew' complete with rolling pin and arms akimbo. So well done to Shirley Henderson.

Not to be outdone, Rufus Sewell managed to be effortlessly seductive as the liberatingly louche cross-dresser in debt to the taxman and looking for a rich wife to manage his portfolio. The script faltered slightly towards the end, seeming unsure how to adjust the gender balance as Kate changes from single professional female to working wife and mother. Apart from this blip - superb entertainment!"

Jane Edwards, Essex


"I am somebody who has never read any Shakespeare and really love these adaptations. The Taming of the Shrew had me laughing out loud - excellent acting, as always from Shirley Henderson. They have made me want to have a go at reading the plays."

Nicola, Surrey


"I thought this remake was very good in a way that is appealing to younger viewers who could be studying Shakespeare and don't understand it. I thought the actors did a great job and really did enjoy watching this even though I am only 16. For the first time I think I really did understand Shakespeare, thank you."

Jane, North East


"I stood up and clapped at the end."
"I stood up and clapped at the end. Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant! Best drama on TV for ages. Perfect casting. Awesome performance from the two main characters - award winning. Superb series."

Maggie Ferguson, Edinburgh


"Taming of the Shrew was suberb, from beginning to end. I loved it and haven't laughed out loud so much for ages. Well done the Beeb for putting something decent on. "

Amanda, Reigate


"Not so good as the others, I think.

I don't know if it was because the acting was so over the top, or that voice so grating, but it became annoying after twenty minutes."

Colin, Oxford


"Wonderful, and very sexy in places! A fantastic adaptation of one of Shakespeare's wittiest plays. Rufus Sewell and Shirley Henderson just sizzle and crackle as the passionate leads. The Shakespeare Re-Told series has just been sublime. Well done BBC, and please more of this type of quality drama."

PK, Cambridge


"I have really enjoyed the BBC's updated adaptations of The Canterbury Tales and the works of Shakespeare and this was no exception.
"Parts of this felt a little hollow and unbelievable - particularly Petruchio turning up to his wedding in make-up."


However parts of it felt a little hollow and unbelievable - particularly Petruchio turning up to his wedding in make-up and a skirt and Katherine's speech at the end on the roles of women and men.

That said, it was an entertaining piece that the BBC have adapted well. Given the themes of the play, it was always going to be difficult to rewrite parts of this particular play in a modern context."

Suut Lien, Bournemouth


"I don't know who thought up this project, but I have to say they were misguided. If you want to use the same plots as Shakespeare, then fine. But please do not associate him with what have been poor reflections of (and to many introductions to) Shakespeare's work.

The Taming of the Shrew was nothing more than a travesty; with an actress who was less a shrew, and more someone with a serious psychological problem requiring urgent medical attention. BBC psuedo-intellectuals may be laughing up their sleeves, but those of us who respect Shakespeare's work can be very unforgiving."

Anthony L Church, Leicester


"I studied this play at university and found it so ambiguous that I still cannot make up my mind about whether Kate marries well. It is such an excellent and loveable play, you did a great job with it. Your version maintained the right levels of controversy and all the appropriate issues of marriage and power struggles, as well as being absolutely hilarious. Rufus Sewell dressed as a woman was so divine, and so inspired, thank you!"

Bethan Walker, Southend


"I didn't expect to particularly like Sally Wainwright's adaptation, given I'm not a huge fan of Shakespeare's original, but I loved it.

"Shirley Henderson made what is quite possibly the Bard's most outrageous female character palatable - and even endearing."
Rufus Sewell managed to smoulder and banter his way thorough Petruchio's tights and heels, and Shirley Henderson made what is quite possibly the Bard's most outrageous female character palatable, and even endearing; quite a feat.

Loved the bawdy jokes, and the power shifts within Katherine and Petruchio's relationship - that pivotal kiss by the pool was electric. David Mitchell as Kate's right hand man was genius comedy casting."

Nai, Cambridge


"Brilliant! I thought Shirley Henderson was hilarious as Katherine, I didn't stop laughing the entire way through. I'm familiar with Shakespeare but wasn't all that keen before now, but after this BBC series I'm definitely going to be reading the plays I haven't yet read."

Jodie Pitt, Plymouth


"This was a wonderful adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew. The two main characters were well matched and Rufus Sewell was great. I've watched his career with interest and consider him one of our best actors.

The whole thing was a joy to watch and I'm so glad I recorded it so that I can see it over and over and recommend it to friends. I'm a writer with over 50 novels published and appreciate Shakespeare more and more."

Jeanne Yarde, Warminster.


"I absolutely loved this and, despite all the laughter I had at poor Kate's expense with the courtship I actually threw a pillow at the TV when he sabotaged the car and 'lost' her stuff; especially after the debacle of the wedding.

But it was exceptionally funny and I adored Rufus Sewell as Petruchio; he kept the original Shakespearian character's eccentric nature to a T, albeit updated. The transvestite twist was a master-stroke that had me open-mouthed and waiting for her to clock him one.

"Kate has a far more forgiving nature than I; if I'd been there Petruchio would have followed the suitcase into the pool."

I can only say Kate ultimately has a FAR more forgiving nature than I; I have a similar temper and if I'd been there he'd have followed the damn suitcase into the pool (after the kiss of course!)

Shirley Henderson and Rufus Sewell were brilliant as the lead characters and their off kilter and eccentric romance was utterly believable; I would love to see them work together again. In fact the entire cast were wonderful. Well done BBC for continuing to show others how adaptations of this standard should be done."

Tracy Holland, Staffordshire


"It was an amazing adaptation! The cast, producers, director and all who were inspired to do this particular production are to be most highly commended. Well done - very good set decoration.

In particular the role of Kate played by Ms Henderson is so wonderfully done and deserves an Oscar. Petruchio is portrayed so genuinely by Mr Sewell and his friend, Mr Tompkinson (Michael Caine lookalike) does such brilliant and original acting.

Truly glorious!"

Mr Palitha Harischandra, Henley-On-Thames


"Absolutely fabulous. Shirley Henderson plays a fantastic shrew (although she's probably a really nice person in real life) and Rufus Sewell was wonderful - its amazing how good a guy can look in high heels. Thank you to the BBC for showing this - a highlight on a very cold Monday night - can we have more of the same?"

Allison, Glasgow


"Hardly having time to sit and watch a bit of telly, I managed to anchor myself down to the sofa to catch this modernisation of Shakespeare.
"From the second Minola screwed up her tight little face for the first burst of violence, I couldn't pull myself away."


From the second Minola screwed up her tight little face for the first burst of violence, I couldn't pull myself away. Performances were perfect and the characters believably crazy, with serious undercurrents throughout. So I say thank you for the glorious re-unification of me and the TV. And I can't wait for the DVD."

Liam Kerrigan, Swindon


"Excellent! Politically incorrect wonderful drama. I haven't laughed so much in ages. The cast were brilliant, this is what the BBC does best. Tightly written script, impeccably carried out. Congratulations to the entire crew."

Sandra, Wales

"Shirley Henderson was terrific in this fine modern adaptation, a very energetic performance. Many people I have spoken to at work today also commented on what a good production and cast this was. We are all very proud of Shirley in Scotland, she is a great talent."

Chris, Dunfermline


"Brilliant! The chemistry between Rufus Sewell and Shirley Henderson was electric and totally intoxicating to watch. Twiggy Lawson as the mother was strangely bemusing and as for Stephen Tompkinson, forever the bewildered idiot, he did magnificently.
"As for Stephen Tompkinson, forever the bewildered idiot, he did magnificently."


The whole cast managed to create an evening of pure pleasure and laughter that left you wanting more. As a fan of Shakespeare I am always reluctant to watch these modern day versions, but I felt that the BBC had 'pulled this one off' with gusto. "

H.Hurst, Wigan


Superb. I realise that the Shakespeare die-hards will pick it all apart, but no one gave Helen Fielding any feedback on reducing Eliza Bennett's intelligence to calorie, cigarette and alcohol counting did they? Last night was just brilliant, the chemistry between Sewell and Henderson was electric. Well done Beeb."

Ruth Mallors, London


"If this doesn't get people interested in Shakespeare, nothing will. Brilliant adaptation. Fantastic cast. Rufus Sewell is the most beautiful man in England. No, the world."

Anita Hanks, Birmingham


"I am a 18 year old drama student and the Taming of the Shrew has always been one of my favourite Shakespeare plays. This wonderful modern remake had me hooked within the first five minutes.

"I was impressed with how they managed to keep Kate's famous speech at the end so true to Shakespeare's text, yet not offensive."
The writing carried the wit and energy of the play, and the actors' comic timing was spot on. I was mainly impressed with how they managed to keep Kate's famous speech at the end so true to Shakespeare's text, yet not offensive. This version gave Kate more power, and it is clear she isn't the only one "tamed" by the end.

This was a wise move as this play has always dealt with a touchy subject but it was portrayed in such a way that left women feeling empowered, rather than broken. This tale of two strong willed people learning to love was funny, insightful, touching and constantly entertaining. The best update yet."

Lisa, Blackpool


"Absolutely splendid fun from the first to last moments.

Rufus Sewell deliciously wicked - bring him on again - in anything or out of it - we don't care!

Please carry on with these Shakespeare recreations - they are wonderful - revealing the story in an up-to-date manner besides being stand-alone entertainment."

Serys O'Connor, Sheffield


"Laugh-out-loud funny, my Mum and I really enjoyed this. The actors made it so much fun to watch. By far the best version of the play to be brought to screen."

Alexandra Parker, London


"The BBC's retelling of Shakespeare becomes worse by the week. The Taming of the Shrew was hardly stimulating television. Bizarre? Certainly. Vulgar? Absolutely. Likeable? Hardly. Whilst never one of my favourite works, The Taming of the Shrew was painful to endure, not least due to the whole irritable lot of Henderson, Sewell and Lawson; the latter in particular very wooden. The plot was muddled, strewn about here and there and never actually well told.

"I found the acting between the principal characters uncomfortable to watch; I felt queasy about the whole affair."
The biggest failure, however, was the lack of encouragement the audience felt to warm towards Katherine or Petruchio. Indeed, I found the acting between the principal characters uncomfortable to watch; even when the dynamic between the two supposedly transformed into something endearing, I felt queasy about the whole affair.

I think if anything, this production has succeeded in discouraging its viewers from further exploration of Shakespeare. It is a shame that one of his plays has been belied in such a way. It is a shame also, that the first to be retold - Much Ado about Nothing, has had such dire company to keep."

Hannah Jane, Liverpool


"I enjoyed the film. I thought it was funny and quite good, but I disliked the end bit. I don't like that fact that the shrew said that woman will never be equal to men. I think that let the thing down a bit. Still, I did enjoy it. I don't think it was as good as Macbeth though."

Soph, London


"Simply brilliant and completely over the top. Shirley Henderson was fantastic and redefined shrewish. Rufus Sewell was completely eccentric - a combination of Rik Mayall and Freddy Mercury.
"Rufus Sewell was a combination of Rik Mayall and Freddy Mercury."


I loved Burton and Taylor's version and 10 Things I Hate About You, but this production left me stunned. I can't wait to see it again. BBC drama at its very, very best."

James MacDonald, Glasgow


"It was always going to be difficult to update this particular play and make it acceptable for our twenty-first century sensitivities. But the writers just about pulled it off. The project was helped hugely by strong performances from Rufus Sewell and Shirley Henderson. It was good to see them teaming up again after the brilliant Charles II: The Power and the Passion.

A lot of the original play got lost in the updating process. Much more than in any other play in the series so far. But the basic plot remained intact and there were still some funny moments. Not as good as Much Ado About Nothing, but an improvement on Macbeth."

Damien Muldoon, Dublin


"Brilliant acting and modern interpretation, making Shakespeare accessible to more than the elite and intellectual. I thoroughly enjoyed it."

Fionna Stewart-Butler, West Midlands

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