English Touring Theatre is marking its fifth birthday with an anniversary tour of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. The tour opens 5 October in Crewe and continues to 5 December 1998 when it finishes in Dartford, Essex.

Artistic director Stephen Unwin directs the production, set in modern day London, in which he portrays Petruchio and Kate as cunning and sexual equals, both motivated by greed, sex and self-interest.

Since Unwin joined English Touring Theatre in 1993, the company has mounted twenty national tours, of which, seven have gone into London and six have received a total eight national awards, including two Sunday Times Ian Charleson Awards and three TMA Awards. Acclaimed productions have included The Seagull, Hedda Gabler, Hamlet and As You Like It.

Design for The Taming of the Shrew is by Neil Warmington whose recent work includes the RSC's Henry V and Shared Experience's Jane Eyre. Lighting is by Bruno Poet, sound by Olly Fox and costumes by Mark Bouman.

The cast includes David Cardy as Petruchio and Kacey Ainsworth as Kate. They are joined by Anthony Barclay, Burpreet Bhatti, Matthew Cottle, Michael Cronin, Patrick Duggan, Andrew French, Grant Gillespie, Daniel Goode, Laura Howard, Robert Lister and Charlie Roe.

The Taming of the Shrew travels to Crewe, Oxford, Poole, Richmond, Malvern, Buxton, Cambridge and Dartford.