Theatre in Wales

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Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew is the inspiration for a new production from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, adapted and directed by the Milanese-born director Firenza Guidi.

Running at the Bute Theatre, RWCMD, from December 3 - 13 (7.30pm), this Taming of the Shrew explores the sexual politics of the 21st century through a clash of changing identities. What is masculine and what is feminine? Both Petruchio and Katherine engage in a manipulative game of tame and conquer that at times will echo the crushing critiques of the BBC’s legendary fashionistas Susannah and Trinny!

A cast of nine women and one (brave) man - Gareth Richards - turn conventions on their head in an exciting interpration of an often misunderstood play that will have a cinematic feel, partly created by the dramatic style costumes, but partly owing to the fact that the director is herself an award-winning film maker, as well as a theatre director.

A recent graduate of the International Film School at Newport, Firenza received the 2003 Creative Student Film Maker of the Year award from top Welsh director Justin Kerrigan. (The award is open to film students studying at university and colleges from across the UK).

“There was a recent prodouction of the Shrew in London which cast only women, but it didn’t seem to quite work for me,” Firenza explains. “A man needs to be cast in order to heighten the tension and confrontation going on between the sexes and that was something the whole cast agreed on, not just Gareth! It’s very much a production that takes the idea that the process of taming can be a passion in itself.”

A director with an eye for the visual, Firenza’s student designers will be drawing inspiration from a huge variety of sources - everything from Dolce and Gabbana to the urban landscapes of India where Firenza recently worked with her company ELAN Wales.

“Actually, the key to much of the design comes from much closer to home,” she confesses. “I took the cast to the Bute Fountain in Cardiff Bay which is just down the road from me and that set off a whole train of ideas. And yes, we did get our feet wet!”

* For further information, photographs or interviews, please contact Penny on 07813 091880
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Penny Simpson
Tuesday, November 18, 2003back



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