The Taming of the Shrew

A difficult play at the best of times, but perhaps even more so in today’s climate of concern about stopping violence against women. Past productions were so focused on how to handle the last scene – does Kate submit or does she really win? that they glossed over the horrible violence done to her.

This production handled both issues admirably. You cannot eliminate the violence without destroying the play, but you can show that both partners suffered as a result of it. The performances of Ben Carlson as Petruchio  and Deborah Hay as Kate were nuanced and carefully  balanced.

Chris Abraham demonstrated again that he can handle the demands of Shakespeare and the modern audience. The introduction, where he spoofed last year’s Midsummer Night’s Dream and the actors who were in it, was funny even if you missed the in jokes.

Too many great performances to list them all, but special mention must be made of Brian Tree as Grumio and Tom Rooney as Tranio.


About cathyriggall

Theatre junkie, who thinks live theatre is the ultimate form of living on the edge. You never know what will happen when an actor steps on the stage.
This entry was posted in Stratford 2015 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Taming of the Shrew

  1. keithhpotter says:

    Yes, the nuance was particularly evident in Kate’s final speech, which made her position understanding to a modern audience without warping the play, and this was helped by Abraham’s editing decisions in the central taming sequence.

    Deborah Hay’s discussion at a Forum event of the “taming” as it related to falconry and how, at the end, the hawk did not become a pet, was very enlightening. The hawk and the hawker became hunting partners, but the bird was still wild. Not free, but understanding how to operating within its environment, just as Kate learned how to operate within her society.

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