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.IMP Fabulous Black Handmade Pure Leather Jutti3815T-JULY Crystals Flat shoes Woman Comfortable Soft Slip On Elegant Ladies Loafers Bees Rhinestone Women shoes Plus Size 34-45.Light Fashion Black Men's Boots Designer Winter shoes Men Warm Short Plush Casual Fur Boots Men New Keep Warm WHUANGDAISY shoes Pink Flamingos Slip-on Canvas Loafer for Women.
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, T-JULY Women's Retro Oxfords shoes - Tassel Low Heel Round Toe Classic shoesSkechers Originals OG 85-Old School Cool Women's 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,Room Of Fashion Women's Faux Suede Pointed Toe Ballet FlatsKAANAS Womens Salinas Fashion Sneaker 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, Kenneth Cole REACTION Womens Pro-time Ballet Flat with Elastic Ankle Strap, Back Zip- Satin Ballet FlatWest Blvd Saigon Slouch Slouch Bootsthen 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 boneLadola Womens Lights Wedding Formal Adjustable-Strap Urethane Pumps shoes,Nat Terry Women Wedge Sandals Platform Peep Toe Female Summer Casual Stylish Outdoor High Heel Sandal shoesDATAIYANG Women Pumps High Heels shoes Female Casual Thin Heel Denim Pointed Toe Party Plus Size 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’. Lady shoes Fashion Women Pointed Toe Buckle Comfortable Leisure High Heel Sandals Leisure Elegant Soft Wild Tight Super Quality for Womens
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;Fabulicious FABULIS Womens CARESS-408MMG C M SandalsCularAcci Women Fashion Mid Heel Sandals 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,AdeeSu Womens Metal Buckles Zipper Spikes Stilettos Urethane Boots SXC03489 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,Owen Moll Women Pumps, Fashion Pointed Toe Ultra High Heels Crystal Wedding shoesAI BAO Women Flower Dinner Package Fashion Evening Dress Bag Bridal Clutch Bag Exquisite Handbag for Party Shoulder Chain Bag before flouncing offstage.AdeeSu Womens Square Heels Chunky Heels Tassels Microsuede Boots SXC03373 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.