Taming of the Shrew, The Globe Theatre, August 2012
This was again a play I was a little nervous in seeing, not because I had any doubts about the performance itself but because it was a long awaited treat for my mum, and her first visit to the Globe.
Our seats were in the Upper Tier but dead centre and so we could see almost all of the action, barring a tiny amount that took place on the catwalk-esque thrust part. The first thing I noticed about the staging was how much scenery there appeared to be compared to the sparseness of the last two plays I'd seen there.
The start of the play was a little bit of a shock and was very unexpected (The play runs until October 13th so I won't 'spoil' this) but very quickly became a familiar Globe production. I didn't know the story behind this play at all before seeing it, I'd just been told that it was a problem play that I might find hard to swallow. I didn't and I loved it from start to finish.
For me this version was funny, poignant, bawdy and brilliant. While Petruchio does try to tame Katherina I found this version wasn't about the subjugation of women but more about a couple having to both compromise for a marriage to work. The relationship between Katherina and Bianca also had moments that felt very familiar, nice to know Shakespeare got the female sibling rivalry spot on as well as other family's feuds!
The costumes (or lack of them!) were fantastic as were the songs, musicians and the jig at the end. While there were lots of laughs throughout I do think that the kicking of the bucket scene stealing was my favourite!
As mum and I said to each other, if every school child saw a Shakespeare play like this, or even just at the Globe, he'd never be classed as hard work or dull again.
Like my dad earlier in the month I think mum had a great time on her first visit to the Globe and she now has her fingers crossed that her other favourite plays will be in the next season's run!