Dame Janet on Petruchio's treatment of Kate

"he saw what was lurking underneath Kate’s prickly exterior and he dug it out with no hint of flaky post-Freudian tip-toeing through the tulips"

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We had a brilliant question arising from our recent online session with Dame Janet Suzman, part of our Lockdown Taboo and You series, on Shakespeare and Manias. We very much wanted to share the question with you and Janet's reply. Not least because we are planning to do a read and share series on The Taming of the Shrew. 

Q: What can you say about the mental manipulation that is used on Kate in The Taming of the Shrew?

A: Well, let’s remember this is a play and a comedy at that. And let’s also remember that Kate needs to be as young as possible so that she’s really a surly teenager and NOT a mature woman. I would call it physical manipulation that Petruchio embarks on to tame his recalcitrant young wife; starves her when she’s hungry, contradicts her when she’s bolshie, disappoints her retail therapy moment when she wants a pretty hat, and in the end makes her laugh by being so absurd as to call the moon the sun etc etc. (Read on for the full reply!)

Rehearsing Shakespeare: Actors

"good and truthful acting makes an audience glad to be alive"

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Shakespeare in Italy Associate Director Bill Alexander gives us his last blog of the current series. It is short, apt and incredibly poignant considering the times we are living in. 

Rehearsing Shakespeare: Hamlet's Proof

"every single line and thought has to feel like ice and fire fighting in their veins"

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In the second part of his blog taking Hamlet to explore rehearsing Shakespeare, Bill Alexander, Shakepeare in Italy Associate Director, focuses on how directors and actors narrow their choices following forensic examination of the evidence in the text. 



Rehearsing Shakespeare: Hamlet's Act

'only theatre can show Hamlet the truth'

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Shakespeare in Italy’s Associate Director Bill Alexander turns his attention to 'Hamlet' in his series on rehearsing Shakespeare. Here he demonstrates how much of the play is indeed about acting – and the different meanings of the word.

Rehearsing Shakespeare: Twelfth Night 3 - Enter Sir Toby

'there is no good comedy without tension and the possibility of sudden reversal'

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Shakespeare In Italy presents the third instalment in its Associate Director Bill Alexander's truly enlightening series of blogs on Rehearsing Shakespeare focusing on particular plays. In this  - Twelfth Night : Enter Sir Toby - he examines the nature of comedy and tragedy looking at the interaction between Toby, Maria and Andrew Aguecheek.