Skip to main content

The Taming of the Shrew

Tron Theatre, Glasgow
Four stars

When boy meets girl in Shakespeare’s frothy but terminally unreconstructed rom-com, the so-called happy ending has always been at best questionable. Jo Clifford’s gender-bending new reading of the story of how Katherina learnt to succumb to Petruchio’s will proceeds to turn the play’s world upside down, break every rule going and run with it to make a whirlwind piece of queer-core cabaret inspired subversion.

Here, Katherina is a boy, a bratty swot with ideas above his station and a serious attitude problem. Kate isn’t at all like his himbo brother Bianca, who only wants to serve the women who run the world as they woo him into willing submission. Petruchio, meanwhile, is a woman who, enjoying the challenge of Kate’s resistance to her charms, is on a mission, and won’t put up with any of Kate’s nonsense, no matter how much he refuses to put out.

Over a rollicking 75 minutes, Michael Fentiman’s co-production between the Tron and their enterprising fellow travellers at the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff deconstructs and reinvents Shakespeare’s original as one might with the wheel, yet, with the aid of Claire Cage’s comic pedant, somehow manages to keep the central thrust of the play’s story intact.

Scarlett Brookes takes no prisoners as Petruchio, Kate is played by Matt Gavan like an indie-kid Rik Mayall, with Francois Pandolfo a quasi-coquettish Bianca and Louise Ludgate simply magnificent as the matriarchal Baptista. If the play’s central relationship has a combative air, it is heightened by Madeleine Girling’s mini circus ring styled set, while Danny Krass’ sound design is given a live kick by the musical double act of Hannah Jarrett-Scott and Alexandria Riley.

While there is some seriously incendiary stuff going on here concerning the rich and ever changing tapestry of gender politics, making sex mosaics as they go, there is such an irreverent tone at the show’s heart that it’s clear everyone is having a cross-gendered ball.

The Herald, March 22nd 2019

ends



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Losing Touch With My Mind - Psychedelia in Britain 1986-1990

DISC 1 1. THE STONE ROSES   -  Don’t Stop 2. SPACEMEN 3   -  Losing Touch With My Mind (Demo) 3. THE MODERN ART   -  Mind Train 4. 14 ICED BEARS   -  Mother Sleep 5. RED CHAIR FADEAWAY  -  Myra 6. BIFF BANG POW!   -  Five Minutes In The Life Of Greenwood Goulding 7. THE STAIRS  -  I Remember A Day 8. THE PRISONERS  -  In From The Cold 9. THE TELESCOPES   -  Everso 10. THE SEERS   -  Psych Out 11. MAGIC MUSHROOM BAND  -  You Can Be My L-S-D 12. THE HONEY SMUGGLERS  - Smokey Ice-Cream 13. THE MOONFLOWERS  -  We Dig Your Earth 14. THE SUGAR BATTLE   -  Colliding Minds 15. GOL GAPPAS   -  Albert Parker 16. PAUL ROLAND  -  In The Opium Den 17. THE THANES  -  Days Go Slowly By 18. THEE HYPNOTICS   -  Justice In Freedom (12" Version) 1. THE STONE ROSES    Don’t Stop ( Silvertone   ORE   1989) The trip didn’t quite start here for what sounds like Waterfall played backwards on The Stone Roses’ era-defining eponymous debut album, but it sounds

Big Gold Dreams – A Story of Scottish Independent Music 1977-1989

Disc 1 1. THE REZILLOS (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures (12/77)  2. THE EXILE Hooked On You (8/77) 3. DRIVE Jerkin’ (8/77) 4. VALVES Robot Love (9/77) 5. P.V.C. 2 Put You In The Picture (10/77) 6. JOHNNY & THE SELF ABUSERS Dead Vandals (11/77) 7. BEE BEE CEE You Gotta Know Girl (11/77) 8. SUBS Gimme Your Heart (2/78) 9. SKIDS Reasons (No Bad NB 1, 4/78) 10. FINGERPRINTZ Dancing With Myself (1/79)  11. THE ZIPS Take Me Down (4/79) 12. ANOTHER PRETTY FACE All The Boys Love Carrie (5/79)  13. VISITORS Electric Heat (5/79) 14. JOLT See Saw (6/79) 15. SIMPLE MINDS Chelsea Girl (6/79) 16. SHAKE Culture Shock (7/79) 17. HEADBOYS The Shape Of Things To Come (7/79) 18. FIRE EXIT Time Wall (8/79) 19. FREEZE Paranoia (9/79) 20. FAKES Sylvia Clarke (9/79) 21. TPI She’s Too Clever For Me (10/79) 22. FUN 4 Singing In The Showers (11/79) 23. FLOWERS Confessions (12/79) 24. TV21 Playing With Fire (4/80) 25. ALEX FERGUSSON Stay With Me Tonight (1980) 1. THE REZILL

Edinburgh Rocks – The Capital's Music Scene in the 1950s and Early 1960s

Edinburgh has always been a vintage city. Yet, for youngsters growing up in the shadow of World War Two as well as a pervading air of tight-lipped Calvinism, they were dreich times indeed. The founding of the Edinburgh International Festival in 1947 and the subsequent Fringe it spawned may have livened up the city for a couple of weeks in August as long as you were fans of theatre, opera and classical music, but the pubs still shut early, and on Sundays weren't open at all. But Edinburgh too has always had a flipside beyond such official channels, and, in a twitch-hipped expression of the sort of cultural duality Robert Louis Stevenson recognised in his novel, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a vibrant dance-hall scene grew up across the city. Audiences flocked to emporiums such as the Cavendish in Tollcross, the Eldorado in Leith, The Plaza in Morningside and, most glamorous of all due to its revolving stage, the Palais in Fountainbridge. Here the likes of Joe Loss and Ted Heath broug