Bearded beauties in Elizabethan dresses and
bosomed machos in business suits, two youngsters with what you’d call challenging behaviour finding love at last –
children aged 8-13 around the country can experience their first encounter with Shakespeare.
Director Michael Fentiman’s team develop fireworks of slapstick around Shakespeare’s banter whilst
unfolding the storyline in a way that their young
audience has no problems following, even if they “couldn’t get all the words”, as a young boy put it in the post-show workshop. “I completely forgot that they were wearing the wrong clothes”, that’s what really amazed one of the girls.
Forbes Masson is a fierce and at the same time touching Katherine, a lost soul of the kind you’ll find in many a classroom.
Katy Stephens gives her Petruchio the impetuosity of male adolescence, mixed with lingering grief.
Chris Jared is a really sweet Bianca and Baptista here turns out as an exhausted matriarch, gracefully played by David Fielder.
Enchanting: Anjana Vasan as Traiano and Mimi Ndwina as Lucentio, their facetious interaction is a sheer joy to watch. Quite lordly, Ann Penfold as Gremio and well done Caroline Faber (poor Hortensio).
As a first introduction to the Bard, this abridged version of the play has a lovely teaser effect and quite clearly conveys the message: “There’s lots of fun to be had with Shakespeare.”
after Stratford-upon-Avon next in Canterbury, Bradford, Blackpool, Leicester and Newcastle-under-Lyme
Photos by Simon Annand / RSC