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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: April ::
Re: Shrew Induction
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0273. Wednesday, 10 April 1996.

(1)     From:   Thomas E. Ruddick <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 9 Apr 96 21:19:12 EST
        Subj:   RE: SHK 7.0268  Re: Shrew Induction

(2)     From:   Gavin H Witt <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 10 Apr 96 1:07:34 CDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0268 Re: Shrew Induction


(1)---------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas E. Ruddick <
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Date:           Tuesday, 9 Apr 96 21:19:12 EST
Subject: 7.0268  Re: Shrew Induction
Comment:        RE: SHK 7.0268  Re: Shrew Induction

Hello from a newbie--I've already found something to add to this list?

There's a *wonderful* videotape of SHREW available from the Stratford, ONT
festival!  They re-released it last year--originally from around 1981 I think,
Len Cariou as Pet. and Sharry Flett as Kate.  They did Sly completely,
induction, through-scenes (including the "no taking to prison") and epilogue.
Sly was put in the balcony with his "wife" throughout, and some scenes
(Petrucchio's "If any man know better how to tame a shrew" speech) were played
right alongside him.

IMO this is the best video performance of Shrew available; on a par with the
Kenneth Brannagh film versions (of other Shakespeare plays, I mean).

I also saw Shrew just this year at University of Dayton.  Sly was onstage the
entire time, sitting on the floor downstage right, grabbing arse with every
female that came within arm's reach, eating belching and pawing cod and
generally ruining the already-bad show with extraneous scene stealing (and he
wasn't a good actor either, too amused with himself).  The director evidently
saw nothing witty in the play, and went for the crudest, coarsest humor
possible--lots of upstage extraneous physical comedy, and a climactic scene
where Kate and the Widow actually engage in a five-minute catfight on stage (To
her, Kate!   To her, Widow!  {subsequent lines obscured by screaming and
cursing}).

I leave you to your own conclusions--

TR  (Thomas E. Ruddick, Edison Community College [OH])

(2)---------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gavin H Witt <
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Date:           Wednesday, 10 Apr 96 1:07:34 CDT
Subject: 7.0268 Re: Shrew Induction
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0268 Re: Shrew Induction

Regarding productions of _Shrew_ with Induction or more:

I saw a wonderful, highly theatrical production done at Catholic U. in about
1988, in which the troupe of actors mingled with the audience beforehand, then
segued directly into the Sly material, had the actors very obviously set up a
"stage" of painted sheets, then did the play.  By several scenes into it, one
forgot thte entire framing device, only to be jarred back by the intervention
of Sly in their midst.  The production also included the closing Sly material
from _A Shrew_.  It was a delight; poignant, affecting, theatrically vibrant in
the best sense.

John Barton, of course, staged a famous production of the play in about 1968
using the framing material and a rather faithfully "Elizabethan" setting. Tori
Haring_Smith has compiled a highly useful volume of production history on this
much-maligned play, which includes a consideration of some noted instances with
or without the Sly sections.

Gavin Witt
UNiversity of Chicago

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