Taming of the shrew
Taming of the Shrew
The Taming of the Shrew is Shakespeare’s comedic tale of determination, love and headstrong wilfulness. Often accused of being misogynistic in content, the RSC have turned the script on its head with this gender-swapped production: Baptista becomes mother not father; Petruchio becomes the female Petruchia in a quest to tame Baptista’s eldest son Katherine – there is gender reversal across the board. And, wow, does it work!
Amongst many highlights, Claire Price is superb as the shrew-tamer Petruchia, mentally and physically torturing the fiery Katherine to soften his character and develop him into an obedient husband, and Sophie Stanton (Gremia) generates laughter every time she ‘floats’ across the stage. Joseph Arkley is suitably obdurate as the shrew, although his journey to subservience is perhaps a little easy and needs to show more resilience. However, overall, the production works very well with the feminine dominance over their male counterparts.
With live music, stunning staging and slick direction, this is an hysterical whirlwind of a production offering a fascinating twist on the original script.
Garry Thomas-Lowde for Canal St Online
Lyric Theatre, Lowry: Sep 27th, 28th and Oct 3rd 2019