Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Shrew oughta know.

OK, the puns are getting weak as we approach the end of Shaw/Stratford opening madness. Today, Peter Hinton's The Taming of the Shrew gets three stars from me in the Globe:
The play opens with a rendition of My Husband's Got No Courage in Him (one of many popular songs from Shakespeare's time interspersed through the show to provide the "shrewish" perspective). Hinton immediately cuts to a pub scene where a wife is tied to a "ducking stool" and dunked underwater. This early form of waterboarding was a typical punishment, according to the program, for "a woman deemed to be a common scold"; the Elizabethans had ways of making you not talk.

This contextualization allows us to understand why Irene Poole's limping Katherina might be tetchy. If it was hard being a woman at the time, it must have been tougher still for a disabled one. [Read on.]
The Toronto Star's Richard Ouzounian is not so impressed, gives only 2/4 stars, while The Sun's John Coulbourn goes for 3.5/5.

For the fractionally challenged, I wonder if I should start rounding these reviews up with a common denominator? That'd be 15/20 from me, 14/20 from the Sun and 10/20 from The Star. Or should I do it in percentages? 75% from me, 70% from the Sun and 50% from The Star?


alison said...

I know you're just doing your job, but I'm so sick of star ratings. Theatre is not a math test. Well, except for my play in next year's fringe: Math Test. It's interactive. You come in a do a math test. Patron's Pick, for sure.

Michael said...

Definitely percentages...it'll be like the Rotten Tomatoes' Tomatometer (but we'll have to change the spelling).