There’s something that smacks of appealing to the lowest common denominator about the announcements on the Thames Clipper. What is wrong with the travelling public learning the proper terms? Why on earth do we have to put up with pandering to the stupid? At every dock they say “Passengers will exit from the back of the boat.” Surely they mean passengers will disembark from the stern. Is it that bloody hard to get it right?
Apart from the above, my trip along the Thames was wonderful. The day was beautiful (nothing like the summer we’ve had so far) and the river looked fantastic.
I had stopped off at Canary Wharf, at a shoe shop in order to buy a new pair of runners. The sales assistant (Sabina) was very good. She pointed me towards a perfect pair that allowed for my extra wide gouty foot. I don’t think she had any idea what gout was but she was slightly sympathetic. Whatever she thought of my disgusting feet, she sold me a pair of excellent shoes which managed to see me through the day and, hopefully, for the rest of my life.
Today was a Weasel Globe outing. We were seeing The Taming of the Shrew. I have not actually been looking forward to it. I have major problems with the play from a feminist point of view. Okay, Kate is one hell of an amazing woman but when Petruchio gets her to submit to him…well it leaves me a bit cold and angry.
To be completely honest, I’ve never seen a production of the Shrew. Well, apart from Kiss me Kate of course. But I do know the story very well.
In this era of the #WonderSeason, nothing is going to be what it was perhaps meant by Bill when he originally wrote his canon. I’ve already written about the amazing version of the Dream I saw last time we ventured out to the Globe. Seriously, it was the best Shakespeare I’ve ever seen. In fact, we told Jon and Bev that, because they hadn’t seen the Dream, they may as well consign themselves to a life devoid of art because they’re never going to see anything better.
The thing with this Shrew is the fact that it is planted firmly in Ireland. On a larger scale, Kate is the Shrew of Ireland in need of taming by the boot of Imperialist England. This works…up to a point. A few of us were disappointed that Kate submitted to the yoke of her oppressor. She was fiery and independent but then was tamed into some sort of Stepford wife with no depth or life.
On a finer level, Kate is part of the Irish rebellion of 1916, crying for freedom for both her nation and her sex. This was very powerful particularly when bracketed with Irish songs full of keening and defiance.
On a very basic level, I have to ask: Why on earth would anyone want to be married to a subservient female who had no zest for life? Well, apart from Petruchio, obviously. But then he did it for money.
The entire production was Irish. That made it doubly hard to understand though it worked extremely well with the music. I’m being too harsh. I thoroughly enjoyed three quarters of it. The humour was (as usual) brilliantly played and the actors really knew their Bard.
I loved Kate (Kathy Rose O’Brien) as the Shrew. She was feisty and very, very appealing. I was not alone among the Weasels in finding her attractive. Petruchio (Edward MacLiam) had an underlying threat of violence which almost bubbled to the surface many times.
I really enjoyed the performance of Imogen Doel as Tranio. She had a delightful impish quality that tempered the more disturbing aspects of the play. (Looking at her previous work, we possibly saw her in Earnest at the Vaudville, I assume as Cecily.)
Everyone enjoyed the day, as usual, and we retired to a suitable drinking house in order to drink vast quantities of ale and talk silliness and gender politics as they relate to early British play writing.