Move aside guys, it’s time for the ladies to shine!
by Annabelle Maria Jeffrey & Ana Larae Rios
Fort Canning just got sprinkled with a little more dash of whimsy with the much anticipated play: The Taming Of The Shrew performed by the world renowned traveling theater group, Globe Productions.
Keeping to true Globe Production tradition, the play takes place in Fort Gate, with the similar-scale Elizabethan-style stage catered for an audience of around 800 people. Their minimalist props do not at all bruise the opulence of the performance as the cozy shades of twilight, sprinkled with fairy lights allows you to be immersed in the mystical realm of Shakespeare. To top it all off, there’s no need to worry about securing a seat due to the open space and ground sheets provided on a loan.
Despite it’s strong chauvinistic ideals, the play has been gracefully balanced out by the talented all-female cast. Fresh-faced director, Joe Murphy, helms this witty spectacle and offers the modern male perspective in the calamity of an all woman cast.
“We don’t worry about playing men,” quips Nicola Sangster, who plays double roles, Hortensio and Pedant. “We’re all the same. We’re the same now as we were then. WE all want the same things. We want the girl. We want the guy… it’s a universal story.”
Indeed, the idea of female domestication and obedience is far from foreign to us, but rarely are we exposed to the explicitness of that truth. “What we’ve discovered is that by playing it straight and honestly, it is, bizarrely, a stronger feminist statement.” says Nicola.
For those of you who don’t know what Taming Of The Shrew is about, it’s a tale about two sisters Bianca who is seen as a virtuous maiden, an Elizabethan type of woman and Katherina, a fiery independent spirit, known now as the modern woman but seen then as a shrew. When their father announces that Bianca shall not be wed until her sister does, Bianca’s numerous suitors call upon Petruchio who is willing to not only wed Kate but break down her shrewish personality.
Taming of the shrew takes us on a journey where we are on the side of Petruchio and Hortensio right till the end. We associate and relate to somebody who does something so terrible but then we realise that we’ve been complicate and we’ve enjoyed and laughed along. The lesson for all of us is that we have to be on our guard, to watch for inequalities and for abuse. In order to get what he wanted, Petruchio abused Kate, beat her down and broke her. A comedy masked in tragedy, it is a play sure to put your feelings in a state of turmoil.
Now before you dismiss this as just another Shakespeare play, Nicola tells us why its worth a watch, “Its very accessible, it is very funny. We are larger than life characters. There is music and we help you through the story in a very accessible way and when you see Shakespeare live, it always makes sense. Don’t worry about old-fashioned words. Its universal stories, you will get it. There is something for everyone. Taming of the shrew is an accessible play. It’s a simple plot, a classic boy meets girl. Everyone can enjoy it.”