Posts Tagged ‘Rome’

Mind you, I could have called this blog When in Rome or A Funny Thing Happened on the Way FROM the Forum. You see, we had just visited the latter and had all sorts of thoughts as to where Mark Anthony might have delivered his rabble rousing speech and what a great scene Shakespeare had written. Then we saw it, his name! No, it wasn’t the Via Shakespeare or anything like that. Just across the way from the Colosseum is a Tourist Information Centre and in the window was a poster advertising the Globe Theatre and a performance that evening of LA BISBETICA DOMATA by William Shakespeare.

LA BISBETICA …? Now our Italian was progressing by this stage of our holiday, but which of Shakespeare’s plays …? Aha! Someone had clearly been influenced by RSC Marketing, because inside the Centre were handouts and  on the reverse of these were the names PETRUCCIO and CATERINA. Simple – THE TAMING OF THE SHREW! This we just had to see.

Rome’s version of the Globe is in the beautiful park of Villa Borghese and this was within easy walking distance from our hotel. Tickets were duly purchased and that evening we found ourselves in a fascinating replica of Sam Wanamaker’s vision. It may not have the catering or retail facilities of the London Globe but there was almost a full house-including groundlings and a buzz of eager anticipation with the performance due to commence at 9.15pm.

The Artistic Director of Rome’s Globe is Gigi Proietti, a well known Italian comic actor. Although he had not directed this production, it was definitely a case of comedy tonight with a hilarious and rumbustious version in the style of Commedia dell’ Arte. In fact it was very much like Connal Morrison’s recent excellent RSC production, except that most of the music was taken from well known Italian Opera.

And yes, it was played in Italian and no, we did not understand every word. However, knowledge of the text on our part plus energetic and brilliantly comic performances from the entire cast made this an evening to remember. Petruchio’s servants rushing around the stage to the William Tell Overture was a real highlight as was the frenetic dance at the end when it really was a case of who was taming. who with a triumphant Katerina lassoing a surprised Petruchio!

A well deserved ovation at the end and then out into the park with the stars of midnight  overhead Yes, the hour of midnight had indeed struck twelve but this marvellous show directed by visionary director Marco Carniti was not a moment too long. A glance at the website www.globetheatreroma.com/english, , shows that this production has been revived this season  – not surprising!

And to what did we owe this special theatrical experience? Marketing and of course, Shakespeare! So, when you are next in Rome during the Summer ….

 Tony Boyd-Williams

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