Monday, November 12, 2007

Performance Notes: The Taming of the Shrew

Propeller Theatre Company, Old Vic
February 20, 2007
Directed: Ed Hall
Featuring: Dugald Bruce-Lockhart, Simon Scardifield, Jon Trenchard, Tam Williams

* Used induction and at least some parts of A Shrew. Possible rearrangement of text, but hard to tell without text in front of me.

* 80’s vibe. Biondello MJ vibe, Tuxedo shirt, Baptista Miami Vice suit, Hortensio punk, crazy b&w saddle shoe platforms, disco chandelier, red leather on Petruchio

*Set-up: Wedding, Sly passes out before he can marry the bride, bride’s father pissed off and agrees to set Sly up, start the play then Sly joins as Petruchio (at first using script), play ends and Sle is excited he knows how to tame a shrew, but then is reminded it was just a play…seems to realize it was “How to be an Awful person” instead

* Bianca very street smart in suitor juggling. Duet with Hortensio. “The Joy of Sex.”

* Petruchio at the wedding—speedo, cowboy hat, cowboy boot (Texas0, peeing into his hat. Grumio— half pants, hilarious exit

* Longer play went, more realistic and less funny/good natured. Downright cruel by end. Could never get away with it with a real woman, especially the first wedding scene, grabbing Kate by the hair.

* “Jacket,” “Spotlight,” Sly very endearing drunk at the beginning while a spectator (dancing to the music, eating his own boot), almost childlike

* Jack Tarlton = Spiderman. At least twice during play he made huge flying leap over things.

* Incredibly physical piece of work. Almost no time to understand the words, relied instead on tone and pace of speech for humor and broad slapstick

* Had the wives on-stage during the bet so they knew they were being wagered on

* Vincentio eating noodles, looking through the bottle when he was “looking out the window”

* Spanish/Western horns and guitar when Tranio (as Lucentio) appeared

* Clever bit with Grumio playing guitar for Hortensio

*Pre-show used. In character? Hard to tell.

* Two songs used. Wedding song and “Did He Marry her for Money?” Wedding song used to comic effect at beginning, more straight forward during kate’s wedding. Second song used jovially to set the scene at Petruchio’s house by his servants. Second time more sad, sung by Bianca only with Kate, defeated on-stage, trailed off at “to teach her love was…”

* Tailor and haberdasher combined

* Good use of wardrobes at the beginning (first site of Baptista, Kate, Bianca and suitors, the parade to Baptista for the presentation of tutors and “Lucentio”)

* Very violent Vincentio. Biondello—“budge up, love’

* Petruchio addressing audience mostly, open challenge at end of 4.1

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