Taming of the Shrew
Jack Studio Theatre
Reviewed – 20th July 2017
“strong encapsulating performances from all”
The festival vibe that Lazarus Theatre has created at Brockley Jack Theatre works fantastically well for this vibrant adaptation. Fake grass, bunting, coolboxes, crates of beer, and a festival trolley all displayed a convincing scene.
With the cast donning ripped t-shirts, summer hats, much glitter (Rachel Dingle) and an enthusiasm all round, the audience immediately embraced the relaxed vibe and were willing to play along. A simple set and familiar modern costumes throughout immediately made this production feel accessible to all.
Luckily this proved important as the cast encouraged waving of flags, shouts and cheers and blowing of bubbles from the audience in various scenes. They seemed willing to participate and comply with the cast, and several asides/seemingly off-script interactions with the audience only added to this fun production.
A strong cast punctuated this adapted script with humour at every opportunity and this approach in direction (Sara Reimers) sat well. Keeping Shakespeare light and relevant. Of note Matthew Foster (Petruchio) and Gareth Balai (Sly) held the stage; interacting with the audience, maintaining strong characters and captivating cast and visitors alike.
Reimers’ adaptation is a fluid, modern version of a well-known play. Combined with superb direction, and a strong cast she is reinventing Shakespeare for a younger audience. This piece works particularly well in this small theatre and in the round. The Brockley Jack pub which is adjoined to the theatre compliments the relaxed festival vibe.
It was clear the audience enjoyed the production throughout and this was embellished by the relaxed environment and strong encapsulating performances from all.
Reviewed by Lucy Marsh
Photography by Adam Trigg
TAMING OF THE SHREW
is at Jack Studio Theatre until 5th August