“For some reason I think you awfully lovely, though your heart is defiant.”
“The Taming of the Shrew” was one of William Shakespeare’s first plays and in all likelihood just another commissioned work for a young playwright just beginning his career. The original play, amusing the audiences with simple tricks and teeming with innuendos, is a story about how a woman should know her place. And yet, on the skeleton reflecting his contemporary values, Shakespeare has built a somewhat more multidimensional story that also encompasses greater and purer human feelings, although they are still ultimately overshadowed by the proclamation of rigid gender roles.
Our “Taming of the Shrew” is first and foremost a story of two young people faced with a false and deceitful world, where they have both turned into marginal figures in a way. Meeting each other changes both of their lives. The story is therefore at once old and new – what keeps the old tales alive, after all, is the ability of each new era to reinterpret them.
“The Taming of the Shrew” is staged by Finnish actor-director Merja Pöyhönen, who uses in her work means of puppet, object and visual theatre, combining classical acting with modern theatrical language. “The Taming of the Shrew” is her fourth interpretation of Shakespeare’s plays. The new text adaptation for Pöyhönen’s production is created by Rein Raud.
Merja Pöyhönen (b. 1980) is a Finnish puppeteer. She graduated from puppetry department of Turku University of Applied Sciences in 2005 and has studied physical theater in École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq, Paris. For the last ten years Pöyhönen has been working as a freelancer director and performer being involved in the shows that have made puppetry art widely known in Finland. She has directed shows for both adults and children often mixing puppets and other means of expression. Her most known work is the direction of the Shakespeare trilogy (The Tempest 2013, Romeo & Juliet 2015, Princess Hamlet 2017) that includes two the biggest professional puppet theater shows made in Finland. She has been awarded by Finnish Unima (Puppetry award of the year 2014) and by The Finnish Critics' Assotiation (Critics Spurs - Years' best artistic breakthrough 2011) and Finnish National Council's State Prize (2017) as part of the collaborative puppetry network Aura of Puppets for groundbreaking work for Finnish contemporary puppetry. She is also a founding member of puppetry group Dirty Duckling. Tõrksa Taltsutus is her second direction abroad, YÖ - Geheimnisse der Nacht got it's premiere in February 2019 in Theater Chemnitz, Germany.
The production is supported by the Finnish Institute in Estonia.
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