Shak­ing up the Shrew

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JESS LEE

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.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

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.

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