Monthly Archives: February 2014

Stroppy bearded Kate – Taming of the Shrew for Shakespeare beginners

Forbes Masson (Katherine)

Forbes Masson (Katherine)

Bearded beauties in Elizabethan dresses and
bosomed machos in business suits, two youngsters with what you’d call challenging behaviour finding love at last –

Katy Stephens (Petruchio)

Katy Stephens (Petruchio)

that’s how
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.

Anjana Vasan (Tranio) and Chris Jared (Bianca)

Anjana Vasan (Tranio) and Chris Jared (Bianca)

Chris Jared is a really sweet Bianca and Baptista here turns out as an exhausted matriarch, gracefully played by David Fielder.

David Fielder (Baptista)

David Fielder (Baptista)

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).

Anjana Vasan (Tranio)

Anjana Vasan (Tranio)

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


100 Years Later – is the world any wiser?


a poem by August Stramm

Heavens wafting heaving
Blood a-marching
A thousand feet.

Heavens wafting heaving
Blood discharged
A thousand blades.

Heavens wafting heaving
Blood is seeping
A thousand threads.

Heavens wafting heaving
Blood is inconsequential
A thousand jags.

Heavens wafting heaving
Blood does sleep away
Sleep away
A thousand deaths.

Heavens wafting heaving
Death is woven
A thousand feet.

translated from the original German poem “Vernichtung”
written by August Stramm
shortly before his death in World War I

Hutten’s Confession

A poem by Conrad Ferdinand Meyer (1825-1898)

I’m walking on my grave today
Say Hutten, you’re confessing, pray?
I beat my chest in Christian penitence
For feeling guilty is man’s fate
I do repent that I too late perceived my task
My only mildly burning heart up to the last
I do repent not entering my feud
With harsher strikes and braver mood
I do repent that only once they banned  me
I do repent that human fear could stall me
I do repent the day that bore no risk to fail
I do repent the hour not in coat of mail
I do confess with sorrow most contrite
Not having been thrice daring in life’s fight.

Ulrich von Hutten: see here
Conrad Ferdinand Meyer: see here