Gillian English is my new favourite person. We have never met before but as soon as she stood on the makeshift stage at Belleville and roared her way into my life with her insistently angry comedy, I knew I had met my match. Viewer warning: If you have an undying love for Shakespeare than I do not recommend seeing her latest comedy 10 Things I Hate About Taming of the Shrew. Actually no I take that back, everyone should absolutely go and see this hilarious show.
From the moment Gillian introduced herself from behind us before she ran across the room for her “seam-less” stage entrance, this show already had me laughing. The amazing thing with comedies such as these, is that not only do they make you cry with laughter but they also leave you thinking. Gillian English is real, provokingly funny and bursting with loud, outrageous anger that she promises is her everyday demeanour. 10 Things I Hate About You, one of many 90s shakespearean remakes, was everybody’s favourite teeny bop drama but Gillian is ready to tear those Heath Ledger posters down and shake some sense into you with her electrifyingly clever list that compromises of reasons why Shakespeare was a bit of a douche.
Touching on topical issues about men, women, teenagers and violence this show should not be classed as simply an entertaining rant, but as an eye opening and thoughtfully hysterical approach to the idolisation of historical plays and their questionable contexts. A tremendously amusing approach that your high school english teachers may not appreciate, you will leave the theatre with a new sense of realisation about the demand for new female role models in the arts and the dire need for pockets in women’s jeans. It’s time to reconsider the stories we retell over and over again, and Gillian English is prepared to provoke just that. Loud, occasionally violent and with a bit of language that may not suit younger ears, 10 Things I Hate About Taming of the Shrew is a boisterous and side-splitting stand up production, and Gillian’s personality is stellar. Once again to all those hard core Shakespearean fans, I’m sorry but thou shalt not miss the chance to see this lively show.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
To find out more about upcoming tour dates for Gillian English, head over to her website HERE.
This reviewer attended the show on the 30th of September at Belleville