100 students had the opportunity to watch one of Shakespeare’s more politically contentious plays be brought up to date this morning (Weds 27/11/19), as they watched a live broadcast of The Taming of the Shrew. In usual productions of the play Kate, a tempestuous daughter, is made to bow to the rule of her husband through what can only be described as “tough love.” Naturally, modern audiences have bridled at such representations.
In the RSC’s modern version that we watched this morning, Kate is actually played by a male, as are all of the female roles, and women adopt the roles of the aggressive suitors. This meant that our able Year 8 and 9 students and Shakespeare fans were given the chance to re-evaluate the message of the play as it was thrown into sharp relief through its gender mirroring: when Petrucia leads her husband Kate by a lasso we are inclined to laugh, whereas we would more likely have been appalled by watching a male do the same to a female.
All in all, a thoughtful and interesting production.
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