The 2003 ‘Regime Change’ season at Shakespeare’s Globe saw the theatre belatedly extend its original practices experiments – which had included a number of productions with all-male casts – to a single-sex, women-led company, performing Richard III and The Taming of the Shrew in repertory. Phyllida Lloyd joined the project late in the day after Barry Kyle left the production, and the result (as seen on the archive video at Shakespeare’s Globe) is a joyful, comic, and playfully satirical take on the play that celebrates the bodies and improvisatory skill of the company’s women.Chestnut Imsu Cambridge Select Women's Pointed Toe Stiletto High Heel Knee-High BootCore White Scarlet Navy Adidas Continental 80 Mens B41672.Steam Heatwave Columbia Women's Redmond Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot, Breathable, High-Traction GripBlack Suede Sam Edelman Women's Danna Pump.
For Lloyd’s company, men are a species unto themselves. Even rival suitors Hortensio (Yolanda Vazquez) and Gremio (Penelope Dimind) slap one another’s backs and share mutually reinforcing shouts and grunts. Petruchio, when he emerges in the imposing six-foot form of Janet McTeer, Middle Top-Green WateLves Mens Womens Snow Boots Winter Anti-Slip Ankle Booties Outdoor Slippers Slip On with Warm Fully Fur LinedBlack leather black Cole Haan Men's Grand Crosscourt II Sneakeris the most alpha of the males, embodying a slightly swaggering but entirely self-possessed confidence that brooks no argument.
This commedia-inflected production plays the Shrew fairly straight, for laughs, and without the induction that might give it an ironic frame. Instead, any critique and irony comes from within the performances themselves, as the company allow the play to be a comedy but allow that comedy to push to uncomfortable places. Kathryn Hunter’s Katherina is a spoiled woman-child, stamping her feet and shouting wordlessly when she doesn’t get her way,Navy Cobb Hill Womens Petra Mary Jane FlatBlack Black Burnished Nubuck Dansko Womens Loralie Mary Jane Flat and in the early scenes Petruchio brilliantly turns this against her when informing the other men that they have agreed she will do this – when she stamps, the men clap and cheer her; when she shouts, they turn it into a huzzah, depriving her of her best weapons. Her abuse of her sister Bianca (Laura Rogers) is thorough and quite violent, but this comes from justifiable resentment at the clear favouritism of her father Baptista (Anna Healy). Katherina has undeniable problems, but watching her passed over by her father and gaslit by her wooer is still hard to watch.
During the second half, at Petruchio’s house, the strategies are very clear and centred around food. In a clever move, Lloyd brings onstage Petruchio’s spaniel Troilus, an actor in a dog costume, who takes an immediate dislike to Katherina; Katherina tries to flee from the dog, Cobalt Tooled Patent Dansko Women's Professional ClogStained Glass Dansko Women's Professional Clogthen beats it with a broom, leaving it whimpering away to get the sympathy of the servants. Later, Katherina sneaks up to the dog while it and Grumio sleep to steal its boneWhite Cobb Hill Rockport Women's Harper-CH Wedge Sandal,Brown Kodiak Mens Berkley Ankle BootYellow Pu Cambridge Select Women's Open Toe T-Strap Chunky Block Mid Heel Sandal her hunger absolutely desperate by this point. Later, as a reward, Petruchio gives Katherina some food, but then embraces her and coddles her while Hortensio finishes it off. And increasingly it becomes obvious that Petruchio is treating Katherina exactly like his dog, right down to the whistles and shouts of ‘Here’. White gold Lacoste Womens Carnaby Evo 118 6 SPW Sneaker
The comedy of the production is sincere, then, but leads to uncomfortable positions. Hunter’s virtuoso physical skills allow her to be tumbled upside down when she fights against Petruchio, and to be carried around the stage in all kinds of undignified postures;gold Champion Mens 93Eighteen Metallic Casual Fashion SneakersChestnut Baretraps Womens Aero Snow Boot yet the audience’s laughter seems to doubly imply both recognition of her skill and enjoyment of her subjugation. The applause of the audience in the archive video after Katherina comes to Petruchio at his command seems sincere, as it the audience are approving the taming. It’s a microcosm of a production in which men are consistently awful throughout, but always mutually congratulatory.
The standout sequence, though, is Katherina’s final speech. At Petruchio’s command,bluee Pink Ryka Women's Grafik Flow Cross Trainer she gives a speech of a few lines, and gets applause and approval from her husband. But then she goes for another few lines, and another, and another. An increasingly anxious Petruchio tries to get her to be quiet, but she begins exaggerating the speech more and more, getting up on the banquet table and flashing her legs, and finally lying down in a mockery of Petruchio,Navy Combo Aerosoles Womens in Conchlusion Flat SandalCognac Nubuck Blondo Womens Villa Waterproof Ankle Bootie before flouncing offstage.White Light bluee Lacoste Womens Carnaby Evo 118 5 SPW Sneaker We see a glimpse of them having a fight in Italian, suggesting that Katherina is far from ‘tamed’, and indeed will continue to assert herself against Petruchio indefinitely, even as she learns to play the game of this patriarchal world. It’s a quiet reclamation of the play, but a potent one.