What: The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
Where: The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon
Who: The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC)
When: 19th March 2019
The Royal Shakespeare Company when announcing their 2019 season said that they were going to show the relevance of Shakespeare’s writings to the modern era. There is no question that they have attempted this – although they could be accused of majoring only on one contemporary issue.
Like a percussionist surrounded by many instruments but beating on only one drum, they have taken up only the issue of gender. This meant that in the seldom-performed “Timon of Athens”, they left us wondering what the value of the change of gender was – although it did give some opportunity for strong female character actors in the principal roles. Very few of the audience would know the original play well enough to appreciate the difference that making all the lead characters female had made. Then there was As You Like It where the gender swaps caused a complete meltdown in the second half of the play as an already complex plot became just too untidy.
But with The Taming of the Shrew, by George, I believe they may have added in something worthwhile.