If you’re like any other theatre fan in Toronto, you have serious Fringe withdrawal right about now, and wish you’d seen at least one more show. Take heart: Shakespeare BASH’d performs its raucous, inventive take on The Taming of the Shrew three more times over the next few days during the Best of Fringe.
“It was incredibly freeing to stage The Taming of the Shrew at the Victory Café,” says producer Rob Kraszewski, who kindly indulged my Shakespeare BASH’d fanboy fanaticism. “It allowed us to remove any pretension associated with Shakespeare’s work, and it was really rewarding to see audiences slowly let loose a bit.”
This sense of liberation helped forge an almost electric connection between the BASH’d crew and its audience, night after sold-out night.
Shakespeare performances are tricky: sometimes lackluster, often over the top, and rarely staged with a sufficient understanding of the text, the greatest Shakespearean tragedy that theatre goers see is usually a mangling of lines and a befuddled audience.
Shakespeare BASH’d steers the audience clear of these pitfalls with its unflinching commitment to rendering centuries-old text accessible and fresh.
“We don’t have showy costumes, or fancy sets,” says Kraszewski, “we just do extremely rigorous work with the words.” The work pays off: it’s rare to see such a tangible, lively relationship build between performers and audience in the span of ninety minutes.
A foolproof staging of The Taming of the Shrew is, in its own right, reason enough to check this show out. But if there’s one reason to cash in on this last chance and check out the BASH’d take on Shakespeare’s Shrew, it’s the razor wit and full-force enthusiasm of one of the Fringe Festival’s best casts.
- Taming of the Shrew plays at the Toronto Center for the Arts, 5040 Yonge Street.
- Show times: July 19 at 7:00 PM, July 20 at 9:00 PM, and August 2 at 7:00 PM.
- For tickets and showtime information call 416.966.1062