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.AIWEIYi Ladies shoes Square Med Heel Slip on Platform Casual Dress shoes BlackAIWEIYi Womens Fashion Flats Patch color Slip on Platform Loafer Casual Dress shoes Black.GIY Women's Pointed Toe T-Strap Oxford Pumps Mary Jane Platform Buckle Strap Chunky Mid Heel Dress shoesGIY Women's Chunky Platform Wedge Oxfords shoes Wingtip Lace Up High Heel Round Toe Leather Dress 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, AIWEIYi Womens Wedge Knee High Ridding Boots Snug Stretch Suede shoes for Casual Dress BlackAIWEIYi Womens Patent Leather Autumn Winter Lace up Flat Ankle Boots Martin Boots Blackis 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,GIY Women's Chelsea Buckle Ankle Boots Fashion Lace Up Low Heel Round Toe Comfort Western Short BootiesGIY Women's Lace Up Snow Boots Round Toe Low Heels Winter Warn Fur Lined Platform Mid Calf Ankle Boots Booties 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, GIY Women Mid Heel Ankle Boots Waterproof Fur Lined Lace Up Warm Winter PU Leather Motorcycle BootsGIY Women Winter Waterproof Ankle Boots Round Toe Square Heel Side Zipper Platform Short 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 boneGIY Women's Waterproof Snow Ankle Boots Winter Warm Fur Zipper Short Boots Flat Casual Rain Snow Bootie,AIWEIYi Womens Fashion T Strap Bows Ladies Platform High Heel Pumps shoes BlackAIWEIYi Womens shoes Buckles Chunky Heel Knee High Boots Thigh High Boots Black 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’. GIY Women's Trendy Wedge Heel Ankle Boots Suede Pointed Toe Metallic Zipper Boot Comfy Dressy Short Bootie
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;AIWEIYi Womens Heignt Increasing Lace up Tassel Wedge Heel Platform Ankle Boots BlackMicheleX of London Black PVC Strappy 6 High Heel Stiletto Black Platform Sandals (US 9) 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,GIY Women's Winter Warm Fur Snow Ankle Booties Waterproof Suede Short Boots Low Heel Buckle Snow Boots 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,Gcanwea Women Summer Waterproof Slip On Wedge Sneakers Female Platform Casual shoes Black pink 7 M USFairy music Plus Size 34-48 5 color Women Flats Sandals Ankle Cross Strap Fashion Pointed Toe Mixed color shoes before flouncing offstage.GIY Women's Classic Rhinestone Pionted Toe Flat Pump Loafers Comfort Casual Slip on Dress 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.