Shaking up the Shrew
It won’t be gowns, collars and feathered-hats that fill the stage when the Young Auckland Shakespeare Company bursts on to the scene tonight with its debut production.
Instead the young cast will be rocking shoulder pads and spandex when they put an 80s spin on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew.
The classic love story is being brought to life through the angst and antics of high school students with style influences from punk rocker Siouxsie Sioux and soap opera Dynasty.
Among the retro landscape we meet a high flying chief executive and single mother of two daughters who is juggling the feminist dream of a successful career with raising a family.
It is the first time the play’s director Rita Stone has modernised Shakespeare to this extent.
The tunes and threads might not be bringing back memories for the young cast, aged between 14 and 21, but they certainly are for their parents, she says.
‘‘We’ve had parents digging up their old clothes and it will be a bit of a trip for them when they come and see it.’’
The Western Springs resident travelled to London in 2011 with the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand to perform on stage at the Globe Theatre before founding the TAPACbased company earlier this year.
Despite having to get their heads around two unfamiliar periods the material has not got lost in translation with the budding thespians.
Pt Chevalier design student Sally Bollinger, who plays the lead role of the Shrew, has also made the pilgrimage to London to perform at the Globe.
Treading the boards of the famous stage was a dream come true and an experience which she is bringing to this performance, she says.
Being part of such an experimental production is exciting, Geneva Norman says.
‘‘I really love it. It’s so different and adding this whole other dimension to it makes it more complicated and fun to explore.’’
The Taming of the Shrew runs until December 8 at TAPAC Theatre, 100 Motions Rd, Western Springs.
Timeless tale: Young Auckland Shakespeare Company actors, from left: Geneva Norman, Elsie Bollinger and Sally Bollinger are shaking up a Shakespeare classic with an 80s theme.