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Friday, October 17, 2014

Shakespeare's Globe Taming of the Shrew Review


I just saw Shakespeare's Globe Theatre's production of Taming of the Shrew On Screen.

It was brilliant!

It is one of the very best productions of any Shakespeare play I have ever seen, and you can not miss it.





There are still some dates for it in cinemas in the United States, so please hurry:


Unfortunately it is not being shown in Canada at the moment, nor in the UK, but there are other productions coming soon, like Macbeth, Tempest, and Midsummer:


I am not a professional theatre critic but I would like to share some of my thoughts about this spectacular production.

I have to confess that I am very fond of this play. It was my father's favorite play of Shakespeare's, primarily because of the highly politically incorrect and unconventional nature of the romance between Katherine and Petruchio. Also, it made him laugh and laugh.

Well, this production will have you out of your seat, and rolling on the floor laughing.

I can find no fault in the production. It was funny, and touching, and full of brilliant stage-craft.





Samantha Spiro is a force of nature. The energy she brings to the role is astonishing, and completely unique. Her Katherine is just inspired. But more importantly than playing Katherine as a shrew, she also easily finds how to portray a woman whom Petruchio would really fall in love with, fight with and fight for. 

The moment when she first meets him is incredible. The look on her face is priceless. I'm not spoiling the moment, I just want you to look really closely at her as she sees him -- and her shrewishness implodes, it short circuits.





And when Simon Paisley Day as Petruchio sees her for the first time, his defenses fall, and he exposes himself as perhaps a decent man, buried deep within a scheming opportunist.

I have always considered Petruchio almost impossible to perform right. An actress can get away with performing Katherine as a loud, brash witch, but to play Petruchio is a much harder task. Why put up with her? Why bother?

Well, because he is in love, and to perform the act of falling in love is just about impossible.

But Mr. Day does it. He shows the vulnerability underneath the exterior, and he does it almost effortlessly.

One of the wisest lessons my father ever shared with me is that in order to tame the Shrew, you must first love the Shrew.

Well, Mr. Day acts as if he is smitten with her, and would do anything to win her forever. And for her part, Ms. Spiro acts like a woman worth taming and loving.

The chemistry between Ms. Spiro and Mr. Day is priceless. They were truly born to perform this play together, and every moment is electric and funny.





As much as the story centers on Katherine and Petruchio, I find that when Shakespeare is done very well, there are no stars, every last character is important and given opportunities to shine.

So, as much as I enjoy and applaud Ms. Spiro and Mr. Day, the others in the cast were fantastic, and made the most of their roles.










In fact, without trying to outdo each other, each actor stole the show in turn. It was hilarious how one actor could completely own a moment, and then hand it over to another in order for them to own their moment too, and so on.

I applaud the director, Toby Frow, for this superb production.  Not only did he, in my humble opinion, find probably ever last bit of comedy in the text of the play, but he added to it, and these additional moments of humour are perfect, such as the gag with the bucket.

If you enjoy Shakespeare, you can not miss this production.

If you miss it in the cinemas, you can still buy it online at the Globe shop, here:


Or on Amazon, here:


Cheers, 




BUY NOW from Amazon