Tranio played by Imogen Doel
The Taming of the Shrew (2016)
Written by: William Shakespeare
Imogen trained at LAMDA.
Theatre includes: The Importance of Being Earnest (Vaudeville Theatre); The Get Out, Gastronauts, Narrative, Primetime, Collaboration, and Get Santa (The Royal Court); In the Vale of Health (Hampstead Theatre); Serpent’s Tooth (Almeida Theatre / Talawa Theatre); Marat/Sade, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Les Liasons Dangereuses (RSC); Notes to Future Self (Birmingham Rep Theatre); The Gift (We. Buy. Gold), and Henry V (The Merely Players).
Film includes: Whisper, Happy Toys, Talking Traffic, A Devil on Each Shoulder, and Music Hall.
Television includes: Call It a Night, Misfits, and Accidental Farmer.
"My god, the poor audience member that is treated like a pony! Molly’s amazing like that, that couldn’t have been planned in rehearsal at all. She gets out there and I was like, ‘Oh my god, she’s absolutely getting in there!’ But once you interact with an audience member, you’re in. That’s it! You can’t back away from that."
As performances continue, Imogen talks about gender, improvisation, and the staging of the end of the play.
"‘What if I don’t get the water bottle? Maybe we should plant a water bottle!’ And it’s just never been a problem. That’s what so lovely about this space actually: the audience want to help you solve the problem."
Halfway through the run, Imogen discusses performing in the space, the relevance of the play to modern audiences, and their different reactions to certain scenes...
"Kate is just such a firecracker! And I’m in a house of men, there’s Biondello, Vincentio, myself and Lucentio, all men. Kate is the first experience of this kind of woman and it just really sang out, because the line I have about her. I remark on how bold she is and I use the word ‘wonderful’. She is wonderful!"
In her final interview during rehearsals, Imogen talks about Tranio's relationships in the play, her physicality in the role, and the importance of the world on stage and offstage.
"Yes, I am a woman, but Tranio is absolutely a man. Caroline has put absolutely no blinkers or boundaries on that. And the gender thing in a way for me hasn't been helpful, it's sort of just been about my own wants as a person, as a human being...I just hope there's like a seven year old girl out there who just goes, 'Yes, I could play Tranio'."
With rehearsals under way, Imogen talks us through approaching the character of Tranio and the importance (or lack thereof) of gender.
"We did this exercise where you had to come on, say what you wanted, and then leave. I came on, said what I wanted and I was just really happy, just like standing on the stage by myself, I wasn’t running around after everyone. And Caroline was like, ‘OK, you can leave now’, and I said, ‘But Tranio doesn’t want to leave!'"
In her first interview of the season, Imogen discusses her experience with Shakespeare before, approaching the text, and what Tranio wants.