Two days after Shakespeare’s birthday (23 April), I’ll still be celebrating the bard myself as I make my Royal Shakespeare Company ‘debut’ chairing a panel discussion in Stratford-upon-Avon connected with their new production of The Taming of the Shrew.
In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, the #MeToo social media movement saw widespread reporting of sexual assault and harassment.
In contrast, Elizabethan women were expected to submit to a ‘suitable’ marriage regardless of their feelings or ambitions. In the RSC’s new production of The Taming of the Shrew, the genders are reversed, which allows a modern audience to question the balance of power between Petruchio and Kate.
This event, for which I’ll be joined by the play’s director Justin Audibert and other expert guests, runs as part of the RSC’s “Society and the Individual” series of discussion events in Stratford-upon-Avon.
The Taming of the Shrew stars Claire Price as Petruchia and Joseph Arkley as Katherine, with Amanda Harris as Baptista, Sophie Stanton as Gremia, James Cooney as Bianca, Amelia Donkor as Hortensia and Richard Clews as Grumio.
Shakespeare’s fierce, energetic comedy of gender and materialism is turned on its head to offer a fresh perspective on its portrayal of hierarchy and power.
In a reimagined 1590, England is a matriarchy. Baptista Minola is seeking to sell off her son Katherine to the highest bidder. Cue an explosive battle of the sexes in this electrically charged love story.