Inter-school Performance : The Taming of the Shrew
09 - 10 May 2014‖07:30
Venue : Academy Lyric Theatre
School / Department : HKAPA 30th Anniversary
Category : Academy Events
Performance in Cantonese with Chinese and English surtitles
Gentlemen, when shall we no longer being regarded as nothing more than luxury objects?
The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts celebrates its 30th Anniversary with an Inter-School collaboration production, Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, that uses music, dance, drama, movement and Chinese Opera elements to bring alive Shakespeare’s play for a contemporary audience in his 450th birthday year. It features students, staff and alumni of the Academy’s Schools including the School of Chinese Opera, School of Dance, School of Drama, School of Music, and School of Theatre and Entertainment Arts.
The Taming of the Shrew is one of Shakespeare’s most popular and yet most challenging plays. Its subject matter is marriage and love, and it deals with the power relations between men and women. Katherina Minola, the notoriously vicious and ill-tempered “Shrew” of the title whom no one wants to marry, is the eldest daughter of a rich old man, Baptista Minola. Baptista’s younger daughter Bianca, in contrast appears a mild and beautiful young woman who is never short of suitors. Baptista, however, has declared that no one may court Bianca until Katherina is married. Hortensio, one of Bianca’s suitors, called in some help from his friend Petruchio. Petruchio is a rough, brash and direct man who would marry any woman that brings him a good fortune. Waves of witty bickering and dark mind games ensue as Petruchio tries to “tame” his wife. Katherina eventually capitulates to his authority and in a highly controversial speech declares:“Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper, thy head, thy sovereign.”
Shakespeare places this power-struggle drama of the sexes as a play -within-a-play performed before the drunken Christopher Sly, who is tricked into thinking he is both a lord and a wise man. As far as Sly is concerned, the man is the winner and Katherina is tamed, but is he right? Why does she do this? Is it right that she should give in? Is it permissible that he should engage in ‘taming’ her? What should we think? Or, do women still have to be treated by men like this?
In this special rendition of the classic play, rarely performed scenes from early editions will be performed and notably Sly concludes the proceedings after the end of the play-within-a-play by declaring that having seen it
he knows well how to tame a shrew!