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.AmoonyFashion Women's Open Toe High Heel Cow Leather Patent Leather Assorted colors Sandals, Black, 7.5 B(M) USWeenFashion Women's Frosted Round Closed Toe Solid High Top Low Heels Boots.Single shoes Spring and Summer Flat shoes Shallow Mouth Ladies Round Head Small shoesYork Zhu Women Fur Boots,Ankle Boots Square Toe Motorcycle Boots Winter Martin Boots.
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, Salabobo Womens Comfort Platform Bride Dress Peep Toe Satin Ankle Strap Pumps 3128-08MaxTide Women Ankle Short Booties Ladies Leopard Print Knight Suede Boots shoes Bootis 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,Xinantime Women's Dress shoes Comfortable Platform Slippers Outdoor Beach Casual shoes Wedding shoesQianZuLian Surprise You with Your shoes Bowtie Square Heel Round Head 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, Rampage Womens Areya Faux Fur Closed Toe Mid-Calf Cold Weather, Black, Size 8.5Supra - Womens Skytop Iii Mid Top shoes In Black Yellow Blackthen 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 boneYork Zhu Women's Short Boots,Pointed Toe Faux Suede High Heels Ankle Boots,KENDALL + KYLIE Women's Sophie Heeled SandalAdeeSu Womens Assorted colors Bucket-Style Urethane Boots SXC03563 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’. Elsa Wilcox Women Peep Toe Clogs Slip on Roman Cork Wedge Sandals Slide shoes Slipper High Heels Platform Mules
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;1TO9 Womens Dress Solid Pumps-shoes Urethane Pumps shoes MMS065331TO9 Womens Buckle Zipper Urethane Boots MNS03295 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,Grandco Women Sandals Triumph Thong 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,Hoohle Sports Womens Dolphin Baby Set Flex Mesh Roshe 2 Lightweight Breathable Cross-Country Running shoesHoohle Sports Womens Happy Dolphin Floaty Flex Mesh Roshe 2 Lightweight Fashion Fashion Sneakers shoes before flouncing offstage.Hoxekle Woman Mesh Breathable Wedge Platform Patchwork Sneakers Lace Up Antislip Female Casual Fashion Girl Sport 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.