The Taming Of The Shrew

Royal Shakespeare Theatre

I MUST admit to feeling slightly apprehensive about seeing the RSC’s latest take on The Taming of the Shrew.

In a reimagined 1590, the female characters become men and the male characters become strong women, in charge of society.

Would this experiment offer a fresh perspective on Shakespeare’s most sexist play or merely be a vehicle for punishing centuries of male dominance?

Some bad reviews also added to my concern.

Alas, I was pleasantly surprised. Justin Audibert’s production is intelligent and thought provoking and on the whole, very funny, with the women creating a lot of absurd horse play.

This take reminded me of the recent film, “The Favourite”, which also freed up women to drive the humour.

In contrast to this innovative approach, the set, costumes, wigs and make-up were traditional and often stunning, allowing the audience to focus on what this alternate universe says to us.

It was also refreshingly clear to follow, even despite the gender switching and great to be surrounded by people laughing and thinking throughout.

Well done RSC.

More of this please.

9 out of 10

The Taming of the Shrew runs in Stratford until 31st August 2019.

Royal Shakespeare Company

Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford upon Avon

Box Office 0844 800 1110