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.XXHDYR Women's Pointed High Heels Shallow shoes Fashion High Heels Barefoot Boots Fashion Slippers Work Professional shoes Palace shoes Women's shoes (color Black, Size 36 EU)Ladies Booties, Winter Fashion Leather Ankle Boots Women's Plus Velvet Keep Warm Thick Heel Martin Boots (color A, Size 38).YDN Women Comfy Kitten Low Heel Mules Slip on Clog Sandals Open Toe Dress Pumps Slide shoes Yellow 11 (5cm)Clarks Womens Desert Suede Boot Boot.
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, Wild Little Cat Thong Slingback T Strap shoes Women Sandals Flat Diamond Jewel Chunky Ankle Satin Low Heel ThickPUMA Womens Tsugi Shinsei Velour Lightweight Casual Fashion Sneakersis 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,YDN Women Casual Low Heel Loafers Closed Toe Slip On Dress Bow Flats Comfort shoesYDN Women Block Low Heel Loafers Slingback Pumps Almond Toe Slip on Office shoes 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, YDN Women Classic Pointed Toe Slip on Office Pumps High Heels Wave Edge shoesYDN Women Pointed Toe High Heel Sandals Ankle Straps Pumps Stilettos shoes with Bucklethen 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 boneYDN Women High Heel Slip on Mules Pointed Toe Stiletto Sandals Patchwork Slide shoes,Johnston & Murphy Women's Ainsley Thong Wedge SandalDQQ Women's Bowknot Pointy Slip-On Flat shoes 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’. YDN Women Pointed Toe Slip on Bow Flats Low Heels Pumps Soft Walking shoes
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;Taryn pink Womens pinklyn Sheep Nappa Ballet FlatBernie Mev Women's, Alexa Sligback Flats 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,YDN Women Block Low Heels Open Toe Bow Sandals Ankle Straps Pumps Crystal Bridal shoes 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,Sam Edelman Womens Marilyn MulesDemonia DEMONIAW Womens GLAM-202 BVL-LC Boots before flouncing offstage.YDN Women Comfy Peep Toe Platform Wedge Sandals Slip on Mules Cork High Heels shoes 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.