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.BalaMasa Ladies Metal Chain Round-Toe Soft Material Pumps-shoesGooding Day Heels Women Pointed Toe Ladies Sandals pu Women High Heels Black Caramel Apricot Pink.Bussola Womens Sandra Fabric Closed Toe Mid-Calf Fashion BootsRizaBina Women Classical Cut Out Sandals Block Mid Heel Open Toe Knee High Bootie shoes.
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, DecoStain Women's Embossed Leather Slip-On Rpund Toe Belt Buckle Decoration Knee-High BootsMeimeioo Womens Block Heel Pointed Toe Pumps shoes Slip on Office Work Evening Dress shoesis 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,Show Story Glam Ankle Strap Buckle Pointed Toe Exquisite Pearl Heel Dress Pump,LF60421Show Story Women's Wave Raindrop Print Pointed Toe Exquisite Pearl Heel Dress Pump,LF60404 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, Show Story Sexy Black bluee Wave Print Bow Red Platform Stiletto Party Pumps,LF30478Show Story Sexy Peacock Feathers Ankle-Wrap Platform Stiletto Pumps,LF80850then 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 boneShow Story Punk Black X-Strap Zip Gothic Platform Stiletto Heel Sandals,LF80101,Swolin womenas Beautiful Purple Flower Lightweight mesh Damping Hiking shoes Fashion Run shoesQUGKOP& Women Sneakers Denim Casual Canvas shoes Trainers Lace Up Basket Stars Feminino 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’. Show Story Glam Floral Print Peeptoe Cone Heel Platform Pump,LF40811
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;Summer Sweet Korean Waterproofing Fish Mouth Slope and Sandals shoes WomanTebapi Womens High-Heeled Pumps shoes Sexy Gladiator High Heels 10cm Women Pumps Wedding Dress shoes Woman Valentine Stiletto High Heels shoes 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,Show Story Hot Two Tone Button Platform Stiletto Heel Party Ankle Bootie,LF80829 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,Spot On Womens Ladies Faux Fur Upper Wellington BootsDaniig Classic Sexy Pointed Toe High Heels Women Pumps shoes Spring Wedding Pumps Big Size 35-42 5 Mix gold before flouncing offstage.Qupid Women's Cooper 06 Platform Sandal 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.