Despite my appearance I like a bit of Shakespeare (don't say what do you mean' - I'm a fifteen stone Geordie skinhead with a face like a smacked arse! When people meet me for the first time the only theatre they connect me with is the operating one in the local hospital!) and usually around my birthday I go to see a couple of productions by the fantastic Shakespeare's Globe on tour ( Much Ado About Nothing this time - very funny!) and the more local but equally mint Creation Theatre in Oxford (As You Like It this year in the wonderful gardens of Lady Margaret Hall - which they make full use of believe me!)
I've been doing this a few years and have seen a decent number of productions now and it struck me recently that there's generally a very strong female lead in the story (off the top of my head Rosalind and Beatrice for starters just in the two I mentioned above) which may just be down to the fine acting that is a given with these companies but, just to be sure (and because am one nosey bugger!) I Googled 'Shakespeare Feminist ' (as you do) to see what everyone else thought and came to a startling conclusion which is...that's half an hour of my life I'll never get back!
|By the stage at 'Much Ado...'|
Purely from my own perspective though I reckon that, in a time that was male dominated and women weren't treated very well at all, old Billy boy definitely had feminist leanings - even though the word hadn't been invented yet...although he probably would have done that given time. Obviously there was another school of thought that Shakespeare was merely a front man for an anonymous writer who, given the aforementioned female lead thing, could easily have been a woman but I haven't got time to go into that 'cos I've gotta do the dishes before wor lass gets back from work.
What say you then?
|Part of the set of 'As You Like It'|