Year of Shakespeare: The Taming of the Shrew

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  1. I LOVE the globe when it's sunny. Everything looks bright & colourful :) A balmy production of #tamingoftheshrew #g2g t.co/SYM8Y281
  2. While much of the detail of the jokes was lost in translation, this performance demonstrated the effectiveness of simple proxemics and voice work to carry an international language of comedy. The snappy back and forth between Ghazi and Mir (Ahmed Ali) as they traded offers for Bina was fast and competitive, Ravi running back and forth between the two before declaring Mir the victor, to rapturous applause.The fast-paced series of confusions between Vincentio, the Merchant and the disguised Tranio ended in chaos, with Vincentio finally latching onto the (real) Lucentio with an embrace equally weighted between relief and desperation. And Baptista's continual exasperation with his daughters was universally recognisable.
  3. Yet another #g2g has proved that taking plays out of UK context is like planting them in new soil from which beautiful things can grow.
  4. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the performance, I had to question the choice of the play: The Taming of the Shrew has long been regarded as Shakespeare’s most misogynistic and it is performed increasingly infrequently in the West for this reason. Transported to a Pakistani setting, into the third-most dangerous country in the world for women, the play’s anti-women themes felt a tad uncomfortable. The culminating scene of the play, when the obstinate Kiran submits to her husband Rustum and glorifies wifely obedience, was particularly awkward. In a post-feminist era, this scene is played ironically, comically, aggressively. Here too an attempt was made to mitigate the play’s message with Kiran and Rustum coming together as equals during the speech by seeing eye to eye, holding hands and alternating turns to stand on a low stool substituting for the proverbial pedestal. But in light of the Pakistani context, it was difficult to completely transcend the harsh realities of the brutality that Pakistani women regularly face.
  5. At end of Urdu Shrew, Karina told wives how to treat hubbies & mimed male role, while Rustam mimed female following her advice. Clever #g2g
  6. Those expecting some more pressing analysis of this play from a culture where arranged marriages still exist were instead treated to a forward roll, fart joke, and a fluttery solo dance for Karen David's Bina/Bianca, Kiran's eminently marriageable younger sister.
  7. The plot did not stray too far from Shakespeare’s framework, but the emphasis on female independence was clear; 'Taming' is an interesting choice to display female dominance, as it is touted to impart a submissive roles of wives. Nevertheless, the female protagonists Kiran (Nadia Jamil) and Bina (Karen David) imbue an element of confidence and agency into their delivery that contrasts with the jester-like impressions of her surrounding males.
  8. Visually, the production may lack ambition – the set is near non-existent, even by the standards of the Globe – but the space is filled with deliberately large performances. Osman Khalid Butt's Hasnat (Hortensio) is a particularly effective treat, but it's a mark of some terrific writing – and joyous performances across the board – that the company have created such a glorious, uplifting show where the laughs are infectious.
  9. Music and choreography, full of exotic south Asian charm, lighten the spirit of the entire play. The swinging body, waving and inviting hands suit the comedic elements really well. The music can also be rather soothing and even nostalgic, however. It comes whenever the loving couple enjoy their peaceful time, and delivers the sweetness of those gentle moments.
  10. Pakistan brought the most refreshing(and entertaining)take on Taming of the Shrew to London. #G2G Perfection!
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