A-level English & Drama Theatre Trip

Sixth formers studying English Literature and Drama spent an evening at the Barbican last night, watching Justin Audibert’s Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Taming of the Shrew. This Shakespeare comedy about wifely submission has miraculously continued to attract audiences for almost 430 years, despite its plot centring around the subjugation of Kate, the ‘Shrew’ of the title, through psychological and physical degradation.

This version of the play, however, was given a satisfying twist with the genders of almost all of the characters reversed. As well as being far more appealing to a 21st-century audience, this raised so many questions about not only gender, but comedy itself. The girls certainly left the theatre with plenty to think about before embarking on their studies of feminist literary criticism next week. Many thanks to Ms Fischer for organising the trip!

Here's what Phoebe had to say about the play:

"The performance of The Taming of the Shew that we went to see had an alternate cast. The main roles were performed as their opposite gender, for example, Lucentio had become Lucentia and Bianca had become Bianco. This gender swap allowed the audience to see the Shakespeare play in a different light and understand what it would be like if there was a matriarchy instead of a patriarchy. I myself felt that the gender swap limited the play and didn’t seem as believable. I felt the dialogue for Lucentia, was too rough and masculine, it just wasn’t believable for me. However, the play itself was absolutely hilarious and performed extremely well. The whole audience laughed at almost every scene. The character Gremia was probably my favourite - anytime she was on stage, I laughed. Bianco was also very funny. He was portrayed as very feminine and debonair, which added to the comedy created."