Thursday, March 22, 2012

Shrew at Richmond

To the RSC Taming of the Shrew last night with Mother, Daughter and a niece. It's a very difficult play to bring off esp with present sensibilities and on the whole I think the Director, Lucy Bailey does well. The cast is strong with good ensemble although there are no truly outstanding performances.   Much more is made of the "play within a play" than I have previously seen. Sly is on-stage the whole time, manages to expose his bottom a lot, and occasionally wanders around muttering "I am a Lord". I would guess that originally Sly would double for Petruchio.  This would allow the interpretation that he is dreaming of "taming" a woman, possibly the bar-maid.

If it was written in 1592 then Elizabeth the Great (as I would prefer to call her - and I find there was a book of that title about her) would have been 59 so the question of her marriage would have been safely (forgive the pun) put to bed.  Whether Kate is any reference to Catherine Howard also seems doubtful since this is so long in the past, although memories of "bad" names do tend to linger.

The Niece had seen almost no Shakespeare and really enjoyed it, so that's a positive point for the production.

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