Ross is lured by shrew!
1:22pm Wednesday 8th October 2003 in Freetime
One of television's biggest stars teams up with an accomplished stage actress in a legendary battle of the sexes at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford.
Set in the 1960s amid scooters and mini-skirts, The Taming of the Shrew (October 13 to 18) features Ross Kemp as Petruchio, and Nichola McAuliffe as Katherina in Shakespeare's controversial exploration of marriage.
Petruchio wants Katherina for his wife - not necessarily for the most romantic of reasons - but Katherina is resolutely against the idea. From this position, the chase begins, with Petruchio the hunter and Katherina as 'the shrew'.
Through comedy, drama and occasionally ribald language, Shakespeare examines the essence of what makes a good marriage.
After studying drama at the Webber Douglas Academy - and having played rugby for Saracens - Ross Kemp soon found roles on television, including an often shown advert for Fruit and Fibre.
Soap stardom as Grant Mitchell in EastEnders followed, making him one of the biggest names on TV throughout the 1990s. Since then, he has headed series including Hero of the Hour and Ultimate Force, while showing his versatility by playing a drag artist in BBC's City Central.
What is the appeal of doing a Shakespearean play?
"I haven't done Shakespeare since I was at drama school. He is the best writer of all time, and when I was asked to play Petruchio, I thought about it for a couple of days, but as I have 'actor' in my passport, I thought I should definitely have a go. It is an enormous challenge," Ross said.
"Petruchio is eccentric, educated and well-read but very poor. I think he is as realistic as anyone else is today - he is solving the problem of not having any money by marrying someone for their dowry - I am sure that is happening in many places across the world today.
"Ultimately it is a love story, the development of two people's regard and love for each other and in the end they are happy. It is an endearing love and I think the relationship will definitely last."
The story is that Nichola McAuliffe lured you into this role, is that true?
“Yes, it is! We met at a party and she said in passing that I should play Pteruchio, and lo and behold, 12 months later here I am, so be careful what you say at parties! I love working with her and she is a tremendous support Ticket prices range from £11 to £23.50 from the box office on 01483 440000.