Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew is being performed in Urdu for a Bradford audience.
The production aims to address stereotypes of Pakistan and to build charitable, educational and cultural links across communities in the UK.
The reworking of Shakespeare’s comedy transfers the setting from Italy to Lahore and explores the difficulties facing modern Pakistani women.
The Taming of the Shrew follows the tempestuous relationship between Katherina, the headstrong “shrew”, and Petruchio, who tempers her with various psychological torments. The play’s apparent misogynistic themes have become the subject of debate, particularly among modern audiences. It has been adapted many times for stage and screen, with perhaps the most famous versions being Cole Porter’s musical Kiss Me, Kate and the film 10 Things I Hate About You.
This production, by Pakistani theatre company Theatre Wallay, breathes new life into Shakespeare’s story of passion, fury and love, with live singers and musicians.
Theatre Wallay is touring the show in areas of the UK with Urdu-speaking populations, and it comes to South Asian arts company Kala Sangam’s Bradford base next week.
The tour includes interactive workshops focusing on drama, body language, dance and music. Cast members will take issues explored in the play to community centres and places of worship.
The cast comprises household Pakistani names, including screen and stage star Nadia Jamil as Katherina and actor Omair Rana as Petruchio.
The play is directed by Haissam Hussein whose work includes Pakistani TV drama Chaudween Ka Chand and films such as Noor Pur Ki Rani.
The production is Pakistan’s representation at the Globe to Globe festival as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, a cultural project celebrating the London Olympics.
The production is at Kala Sangam, St Peter’s House, Forster Square, on Wednesday, May 30. Tickets are available on (01274) 303340.