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GASTSPIEL: THE TAMING OF THE SHREW (DER WIDERSPENSTIGEN ZÄHMUNG)

von William Shakespeare; Gastspiel der American Drama Group in englischer Sprache

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This is one of Shakespeare’s most famous and popular comedies. The story follows the fortunes of the beastly Petruchio as he attempts to tame the wild beauty of Kate and claim not just her hand in marriage but a slice of her foolish father’s gold. Meanwhile Kate’s young sister is chased by a string of would-be husbands who will resort to any trick, or adopt any disguise, to claim their pretty prize. As ever the Bard (as he is known) explores serious themes through comedy. These include the battle of the sexes, the role of women, the hypocrisy of men and the true value of gold and love. Of course Shakespeare was writing about a very different society from today but he explores universal issues, so that even if we disagree with his position it allows us to examine our own attitude to the role of men and women today.

TNT’s production will also examine the sub-text of the play (without sacrificing the comedy!). For example it is often missed that Petruchio is a soldier. Shakespeare’s Italy was a place of great civilisation but also great violence. Petruchi’s need to dominate the proud Kate is also part of that warlike posture. In a way Petruchio is the classic military boaster of Commedia dell’ arte, known as Capitano. We know that Italian comedy influenced Shakespeare, so it seems right to use classic Italian Commedia to illuminate our production. This allows us to use masks and stylised movement; it’s also a very funny form! Visually, we aim to capture the look of Renaissance Italy, inspired by paintings of such artists as Piero della Francesca and Boticelli. As in Shakespeare’s own day, live music will accompany the production, written by noted Scottish composer John Kenny. A five part sung score will be complemented by harpsichord, clarinet and percussion.

TNT and the American Drama Group Europe have been touring Shakespeare’s major works to a worldwide audience for over 16 years, all directed by Paul Stebbings. Previous productions include: MACBETH, HAMLET, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, ROMEO & JULIET, KING LEAR, THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, THE TEMPEST,
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING. The productions have been seen from London to Atlanta, Shanghai to Berlin and Teheran to Tokyo. In addition to worldwide performances in major theatres, the productions tour each year to the courtyards of palaces and castles throughout Europe and Scandinavia.

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This is one of Shakespeare’s most famous and popular comedies. The story follows the fortunes of the beastly Petruchio as he attempts to tame the wild beauty of Kate and claim not just her hand in marriage but a slice of her foolish father’s gold. Meanwhile Kate’s young sister is chased by a string of would-be husbands who will resort to any trick, or adopt any disguise, to claim their pretty prize. As ever the Bard (as he is known) explores serious themes through comedy. These include the battle of the sexes, the role of women, the hypocrisy of men and the true value of gold and love. Of course Shakespeare was writing about a very different society from today but he explores universal issues, so that even if we disagree with his position it allows us to examine our own attitude to the role of men and women today.

TNT’s production will also examine the sub-text of the play (without sacrificing the comedy!). For example it is often missed that Petruchio is a soldier. Shakespeare’s Italy was a place of great civilisation but also great violence. Petruchi’s need to dominate the proud Kate is also part of that warlike posture. In a way Petruchio is the classic military boaster of Commedia dell’ arte, known as Capitano. We know that Italian comedy influenced Shakespeare, so it seems right to use classic Italian Commedia to illuminate our production. This allows us to use masks and stylised movement; it’s also a very funny form! Visually, we aim to capture the look of Renaissance Italy, inspired by paintings of such artists as Piero della Francesca and Boticelli. As in Shakespeare’s own day, live music will accompany the production, written by noted Scottish composer John Kenny. A five part sung score will be complemented by harpsichord, clarinet and percussion.

TNT and the American Drama Group Europe have been touring Shakespeare’s major works to a worldwide audience for over 16 years, all directed by Paul Stebbings. Previous productions include: MACBETH, HAMLET, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, ROMEO & JULIET, KING LEAR, THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, THE TEMPEST,
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING. The productions have been seen from London to Atlanta, Shanghai to Berlin and Teheran to Tokyo. In addition to worldwide performances in major theatres, the productions tour each year to the courtyards of palaces and castles throughout Europe and Scandinavia.

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