I watched an abridged version of this play on Monday, 13 October 2008 in the drama hall of my school Kidbrooke School. It was written by William Shakespeare, directed by Miss Hagan and performed by the Drama Club. The play was about a father, who has two daughters Katherine, the elder one and Bianca. Many men fancy Bianca, however she cannot be wed as the father Baptista Minola decides that Katherine the eldest should marry first, if she has not been taken as a wife no one could marry Bianca. Many men in the city of Padua disagree with the decision as the all are in love with Bianca and in fear of Katherine and therefore try to make deals with Baptista, who stays firm to his conditions.
A member of the community has a not very noble friend outside the city that he calls in order to marry Katherine, the shrew. As he introduces his companion to Baptista and explains their reason for being at his house; Petruchio is then given the permission to marry Katherine, who does not agree with this as her father tells her the good news. Thereafter the wedding followed an Katherine moved to her new husband who immediately starts taming her as he sees her bad behaviour; his ways of taming included starving and psychological conversations, that enforce her to believe whatever he says.
Meanwhile at home the younger sister Bianca is an affair with a man who disguised himself as a tutor and is in love with Bianca. Lutencio then weds Bianca secretly but Baptista catches them red-handed; therefore it was time for Lutencio to explain to him who he was and what he feels for his new wife. Later on a feast is arranged and the whole family is invited, and so are their friends. As the men introduce themselves and talk about present day issues their wives go out to have some time with each other away from their husbands. During their conversation the men wonder how it was possible to tame Katherine and want to find out whose wife is most obedient; each man called his wife to come to him but only Katherine replied and came to her husband. This amazes everyone and Petruchio asks her to bring in the before called wives to their husbands and to explain how a woman should treat her husband.
In the play the issue of a role of a woman is explored and how her attitude towards her husband should be. It shows what was expected what women should be like, meaning that they did not have their own opinion but had to agree with whatever is wanted by their husbands. In the end speech of Katherine ways of behaviour towards a husband are even more highlighted, because she narrates values he herself did not believe in; such as treating your husband like a king and being lucky to have him to take care of you.
This play is performed using Shakespearean language, which seems not very understandable at the beginning but as the audience follows the actions the language can be comprehended. Moreover does the play include various explorative strategies which make the easier to understand for the spectators; marking the moment, still images and many more where used. The set was kept simple as the stage was of medium small size and props such as tables were used to let the audience imagine what exactly was happening on stage. Through the fact that the set was kept simple the audience has to use its creativity to image what the place could look like; therefore everyone is able to interpret the play in his or her personal way.
During the performance lights where used to highlight the mood the characters where in, this means different light, different mood. The lights had a great impact on the audience as they make the performance look more alive. Especially different coloured lights (red light was used as Katherine and Petruchio have an argument) and spot lights as they make it easier for the audience to comprehend what is happening on stage.
Sound was used to help the audience image in what time period the story happens; Greek music was introduced the play showing what a lively place the city Padua was. Also as Katherine and Petruchio had an argument, music was played in the background to give the audience a feeling of what is happening; the music has tremendous impact because the audience therefore feels that this is not just a play but real, it makes them feel part of the happenings on the stage.
All actors wore black tops and trousers; this shows the audience that they all are part of the same. However, costumes were also used o enhance the audience’s imagination of what time the play is set. Only some of the characters had to put on additional costumes over their black so that the audience is able to visualise the importance of some characters. In my opinion I can say that this play is worth watching because of the message is gives out. Also because it is short so everyone including people who are newcomers to the theatre can watch it. I like this version of the play, for the reason that even though Shakespearean language is used I am able to understand it.