English right out the gate is taut with an entertaining brand of anger. She strides on stage and I can’t help but laugh at how clearly pumped she is to talk for another hour about how much she hates The Taming of the Shrew. She goes over the plot of the original Shakespeare play, which I am thankful for as I never studied it in school. Turns out it’s way more screwed up than the modernised Julia Stiles version. Petruchio tortures Katherine into being an obedient wife by not allowing her to eat or sleep and the entire play is just a PSA to make sure women don’t assert themselves or have opinions let alone voice them.
English is a vibrant performer, she holds herself with a lot of energy and we in the audience respond with loud laughter and enthusiastic nodding, whispers of “OMG, so true!” being nudged into giggling sets of friends. It’s a fantastic atmosphere to be in. English is delightful in her wrath, gesticulating wildly with sweeping arm movements and punctuated hand claps. Going down her list, English does get a little distracted and elaborates on the early numbers with hilarious anecdotes such as her experiences as a Canadian living in Australia so we do have to rush through the last half of the list. It doesn’t diminish how hilarious and fun I found the show though so I don’t really mind. Especially since she taught us how to rip a penis off a body. I mean, yes, horrifying, but as a self-defense move you can’t say it wouldn’t be effective.
10 Things I Hate About The Taming of the Shrew is witty and full to the brim of hilariously entertaining ranting. I bought a badge from English after the show that displays a pretty galaxy with planets surrounding a hand pulling the middle finger. I wore it home proudly and it will be routinely implemented into my wardrobe as a fitting reminder of the show and its “Fuck you, Shakespeare” preface.
10 Things I Hate About The Taming of the Shrew is playing at BATS theatre until Tuesday the 19th of March. You can find tickets here.