"The Taming of the Shrew" performance in Stratford was a bit different from what I had imagined. Many characters had completely different appearances, and some even had different personalities. For example, Bianca was not beautiful as she was supposed to be in the play. In fact, Kate, who was supposed to be shrewish and ugly, looked better than her. The setting was also different - the play was supposed to be set in Italy, 16th or 17th century, but it was performed in a Western style, with 18th century technology (guns, trains) and setting. That was unexpected, and I think it detracted from the atmosphere a bit. I would have enjoyed a play more if it was performed as it was supposed to be performed - not changed to help the people who didn't bother reading the book to understand it better.
There were several types of comedy in the play, such as slapstick and situational comedy.
A good example of slapstick is when Kate and Petruchio were fighting, and Petruchio was "protecting" Kate from the overcooked food - dishes went flying, and the audience exploded into laughter. The other type of comedy - situational - is when the audience knows why to laugh, but the people in the play (supposedly) have no idea about what's going on. An example of such a situation is when Petruchio and Kate met the real Vincentio heading for Padua to see his son. The audience knows that the substitute Vincentio is already in Padua, but the characters themselves don't.
Stereo-typed characters were abundant in the play, such as Grumio, Bianca and Baptista Minola. They all behaved as they were supposed to, and the audience could easily predict what they would do next. For example, Bianca, the younger daughter, was well-behaved, and...