Gwen Pew chats with the young director of The Taming of the Shrew – the first ever production by Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre to come to Asia – featuring an all-female cast.
1 Oct 2013:
What prompted the Globe to finally bring a show to Asia?
The Globe team has wanted to bring a touring show to Asia for a long time, but it was only possible to organise it this year. I am very happy to be the director of the production that is touring to Singapore! It is such a thrilling opportunity for us to be in your incredible city performing such a fascinating play.
It’s never easy doing Shakespeare – why did you decide to do this one with an all-women cast?
For me, Shrew has this incredibly controversial history with women’s rights. Then it struck me as an opportunity to let a group of women give their slant on it, and take over a stage that is so often dominated by men. It’s very obvious that these eight intelligent, empowered women on stage are not condoning it. I think that what we learnt by doing it with an all-women cast was that there was an opportunity just to play the play as the play, because the most powerful argument against its misogyny is just to show its misogyny.
At the age of 27, you’re pretty young to be directing a show by the Globe. How did you first get involved in theatre?
It’s weird how we find different ways into theatre. When I was 13, I had started doing amateur dramatics as an actor, and there was this Irish student called Eva. She was ten years older than me, but she thought acting was cool. I’m not sure Eva ever knew how much I loved her!
How close of an experience is the touring show compared to going to the ‘real’ Globe Theatre?
We’ve been touring across Europe, so our set is a travelling theatre that can fit into any space and bring a little bit of magic from the Globe wherever it goes.
Are there plans for the Globe to tour to do more in Asia now?
We really hope so!