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.Hoohle Sports Womens Green Giraffe Skin Flex Mesh Roshe 2 Lightweight Beautiful Fashion Sneakers shoesAN Womens Wedges Buckle Platform Cow Leather Sandals DIU01258.T-JULY Women Fashion Flip Flops Summer Slipper Female Beach Wedge Thick Sole Heeled shoesT-JULY Woman Floral Platform Sneakers Fashion High Heel Wedge Sneakers Ladies Flower Print Casual Canvas 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, AdeeSu Womens No-Closure Round-Toe Comfort Synthetic Flats shoes SDC03905Forever Adriana12 Women Sporty Leatherette Lace-Up High Top Wedge Sneaker Bootie 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,T-JULY Women's Ankle high Boots Lace Up Round Toe Flats shoes Ladies Sexy Short Botas Fashion Gothic FootwearWomen Wedge Flip Flops Sandals,Casual Open Toe Platform Flat Beach Slides 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, T-JULY Women's Ballerina Flats with Buckle Crossing Straps Classic shoesT-JULY Womens High Heels with Fur Fashion COMFRT Synthetic Slip On Moccasins Loafers shoesthen 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 boneU-MAC Womens Wedge Sneakers Lace-Up Retro Ugly Dad Chunky Platform Thick Sole Breathable Gym Walking shoes,Dbdk Kathie-1 Women's Buckle Strap Chunky Heel Side Zipper Ankle BootiesBamboo Womens Battle-14 Fashion Boots 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’. Zipper Thick Warm Boot for Women Letter Denim Winter Flat Snow Boots 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;Peerage Fay Women Wide Width Pointed Toe Patent Leather Dress Slingback Flat with Stack HeelWinter Women Fashion Stretch Fabric Over The Knee Boots Women Thigh High Boots Low Heel Boots shoes Woman 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,Women's shoes PU Summer Fall Comfort Sandals Flat Heel Pointed Toe for Wedding Party & Evening 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,Ghssheh Women's Warm Pompon Round Toe Wedge Medium Heel Platform Fleeced Pull On Short Snow Boots White 7.5 M USPUMA Womens NRGY Neko Cosmic WNS Sneakers before flouncing offstage.Hey Dude E-Last Simple Slip-on Pumps 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.