Shrew Survey: The 1960s

Joseph Papp’s celebrated New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park gave us the first documented Shrew spanking of the new decade, The production opened August 18, 1960, and was scheduled to run till September 3, but proved so popular that it was granted an extra performance on September 4. J. D. Cannon, who had spanked Colleen Dewhurst at the same festival five years earlier, now returned to the role. Colleen was due to resume her place across his knee, too, but other commitments left her unable to be at rehearsals, and Jane White was her last-minute replacement:

An audio performance, with Trevor Howard and Margaret Leighton, was issued on record, with a copy of the play for readers to consult. The cover is interesting:

01 Shrew

For 1961, the Shrew spanking stakes are represented by two anecdotes.

On July 6, the actress Barbara Touliatos took her actor husband George Touliatos to court.

Since 1957, the couple had managed the Front Street Theater in Memphis, Tennessee, with no little success: the troupe achieved national recognition and was awarded a large Ford Foundation grant that spring. But a familiar story played itself out when they scheduled a production of The Taming of the Shrew, complete with spanking business that George played with such ‘masterful realism’ that Barbara was left nursing an unsittable bottom. Like many a spanked wife of that era, she sued for divorce, and another actor in the company, Macon McCalman, testified on her behalf that her soon-to-be-ex-husband ‘really hit and hurt her’ in the scene. Divorce granted!

Later the same month, a production from the University of Detroit’s Repertory Theater made an unlikely transition – to a teatime children’s television show, Jingles. The year before, as an experiment, the actors had performed an excerpt from The Two Gentlemen of Verona, which went down better than expected with the kids; so this time round, they decided to do the wooing scene from the current Shrew production. Charles Noel and Mahala Lenzi presented themselves at the television studio in the afternoon for the single rehearsal they were allowed, and immediately spotted a problem. Part of the scene’s rough-and-tumble in this production was a moment when Petruchio dumps Kate onto the ground. No problem onstage, where the boards were sprung, but the floor of the television studio was made of concrete. So they needed to come up with some alternative business in a hurry. Guess what they decided to do?

The kids loved it and went home and told their folks. But what they didn’t retain in their juvenile memories was the title of the play. So the next day, the box office received a lot of requests for tickets to ‘the play where the man chases the woman around and spanks her’!

From 1963, we have a production from Finland, with Heikki Savolainen spanking Maikki Lansio:

And we also have a summer stock production that played July 2-6 at Ledges Playhouse, Lansing, Michigan, whose publicity took a leaf from Kiss Me Kate, or rather a graphic:

Maybe this is what the spanking scene actually looked like, with Dan Staples and Kay Pierce?

Well, here’s a strange thing: in this production, Petruchio and Kate were played by husband-and-wife team Lael and Margaret Woodbury, not by Dan and Kay. What you are looking at is Lucentio spanking Bianca – which might make an interesting ending to the play (once Kate has proven an obedient wife and Bianca a disobedient one), though it’s at least as likely that the two principals simply weren’t available for the photoshoot and the two secondary leads stood in to do the iconic moment.

Stepping aside from the theater for a moment, the year also saw the publication of this edition of the play aimed at the general reader:

And still with books, 1963 also saw an approving review in the New York Herald Tribune of the Laurel Shakespeare series by Dell Pocketbooks, in which Maurice Dolbier praised the volumes for how convenient they were for use in the rehearsal room, with particular reference to two standard bits of Shakespeare business:

If I were a Shakespearean actor, as once I was, I’d choose to work with the Laurel, whose size and blessed flexibility make it easy for you to hold a copy in one hand while spanking Katherina or banishing Bolingbroke with the other.

The Laurel edition of the play had come out in 1958, incidentally, with a cover by Jerome Kuhl that did not include that standard Shrew business, but something else instead:

Since it was the Shakespeare quatercentenary year, 1964 featured a lot of interest all over the world, which meant many productions, especially of those plays considered the most accessible and popular, of which The Taming of the Shrew was then one. (It later became ‘controversial’, then, sadly, ‘problematic’.) And at least some of those productions featured spanking.

Here’s a student production in February at Columbia Basin College in Pasco, Washington, with Rich Dykes and Patricia Poor:

March 3-7 saw a performance by the Highland Players of North Carolina, with Richard McCord and Barbara Bolton:

The Casa Manana Playhouse in Fort Worth, Texas, offered a series of educational Shakespeare performances, including three Shrew shows between March 7 and 22. William Hardy, the director, adapted the play for a young audience and cast himself to spank Mary Lou Hoyle:

On March 8, the wooing scene was performed as a one-act play at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz, California, with Robert Vogel and Phyllis Newman:

The piece was admired, and selected for a repeat performances as the entertainment at college events on March 17 and April 12. And if Miss Newman thought that after that she could go back to sitting comfortably, she would have another think coming later in the year…

In July (8 through 19, to be precise), Trotwood Community Theater in Dayton, Ohio, presented The World of Shakespeare, an anthology of scenes, including this one with Norton Wettstein and Janet Reed:

The full Shrew featured in the Victoria Shakespeare Festival in Texas, opening July 24. The production set the play in the Wild West, and was one of those where Kate, played by Madge Grant in cowboy boots, spanks Bianca – with a bullwhip!

That’s blonde Janet Barton with her bottom in danger, but after eight performances she gave up the part and brunette Sharon McCray became Bianca for the rest of the run, which ended August 16. Here she is:

But one thing we don’t know is whether Kate got a taste of her own medicine from Petruchio, played by Charles McCally, who also directed.

Back to Cabrillo College now, where Phyllis Newman’s spring success in the wooing scene was rewarded with further spankings in November. The college was so impressed that it decided to mount a production of the whole comedy, which was understood to be the first time a complete Shakespeare play had been performed in Santa Cruz county. According to a reviewer:

‘Miss Newman pouts and shouts, bawls and squawls, slugs and mugs without restraint in the role of the spoilt rich brat who finds her come-uppance in the calm-downing of Petruchio.’

This was a different Petruchio, Jerry van Steenbergen, but the outcome for Phyllis was much as before.

There were five performances, November 13 through 22, the last of which, a special Sunday matinee, was sponsored by the American Association of University Women, which put the proceeds towards a fund supporting women to pursue graduate study. So Phyllis was spanked in a good cause!

In 1965, Center Stage Touring Company was established as a theater-in-education group that went into Baltimore Schools to perform extracts from different plays. Here are Burke Byrnes and Jane Alden doing a scene from Shrew:

And there was a full production in Tennessee, with Ben Morgan as Petruchio and Shirley Alderman as the Chattanooga shrew-shrew:

This year also saw the publication of Apples Every Day, a romance novel by Grace Richardson, with action including an amateur production of Shrew. One comment is interesting in its implications:

He tamed Kate with cleverness, not roughness: there was no spanking scene.

And while that’s disappointing for those who would prefer there to be a spanking scene, it shows just how entrenched the business was in stagings of the play at this time, that its very absence was considered worthy of mention.

In 1966, the annual Shakespeare Festival at Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida, featured a selection of scenes from the Bard, including this one with Luis Barroso and Jeannie Britt:

October 19 was the opening night of a student production at Edgewood College, Madison, Wisconsin. It was a women’s college, so the men’s parts were played by visitors from the University of Wisconsin, including Bill Burnett, seen here being boisterous with Candy Lehman:

In February 1967, the Hickory Community Theater in North Carolina presented a ‘mod’ themed Shrew starring husband-and-wife team Glenn and Jackie Sumpter as a colorful Petruchio and Kate, the latter wearing a miniskirt that, sadly, doesn’t really show up well in the available photo:

March 16-18 saw a student production at Whitworth College, Spokane, with Gary Tuttle and Kay Keller:

There was a repeat performance for charity on April 21.

The year saw yet another interesting book cover:

Kate and Petruchio seem painted to resemble Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who, surely not by coincidence, were the stars of a film version released that same year; you can read about it here.

The year also saw Hugh Hood’s novel The Scenic Art, in which the narrator accompanies tthe gay actor Adam Sinclair to a performance of his least favorite Shakespeare play, ‘given in costumes appropriate to the Calgary Stampede’. Cue a two-page diatribe about how Shrew is ‘a rotten play, a really shitty play’, while the musical derivate dear to our hearts is also ‘a worthless piece of shit’. He continues:

I’ve seen it done on a bare stage, and with several elaborate sets, as a musical revue, and as a treat for SM freaks who really dug the spanking scenes. Like all of Shakespeare’s work the play has some mysterious quality of universal appeal. I confess to certain mixed feelings whenever I catch sight of women staring, fascinated, at poor Katherine kicking as she is held firmly in place across Petruchio’s knee. Sexual spanking has its place in the hearts of most of us, though not in the heart of A. Sinclair. The scene I have in mind seemed deeply repellent to him.

And when the show is over, Sinclair gives it an impromptu review, to the effect that ‘there is now no viable way to bring the work onstage and that it had therefore better be left alone’ – an opinion we were to hear a lot more of in the ensuing half-century up to the present day…

February 23 through 25, 1968, were the performance dates for the student production at Broome County Technical Institute, New York. Here’s Rita Opie being smacked by Dave Henderson:

On March 7 and 8, 1968, Allen County Community College, Kansas, presented a Shakespeare play for the first time in its history, and chose The Taming of the Shrew. Here are Larry Blake and Carol Habiger putting in some rehearsal:

But we have to end the decade with a minor disappointment in 1969. A youth production by a Presbyterian church in Poughkeepsie, New York, included the spanking scene: great for Gary Kanter, possibly not so great for Barbara Frey. But maddeningly, the local paper’s coverage of the rehearsal showed the moment just after she was spanked!

The performance dates were May 23 through 25.

There is better news about a production that ran at Fort Worth, from October 26 through 29, starring this lady:

Cheri Ellis

But it’s not back to Texas yet, because the Casa Manana Playhouse lived up to its name, meaning we won’t actually get to see her spanked until 1970…

For school productions in this decade, see here (1960-64) and here (1965-69). Also see here for the 1968 Birmingham school production in which a student spanked his teacher.

Photographer of the Week: Stu Allotropia

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Stu Allotropia is a girl with a camera in Kaliningrad on the Baltic coast of Russia. Oh yes, I know she sounds as if she should be a boy with a camera, but her real name’s Anastasia. But let’s not pay too much attention to her gender, and instead look at what she does with her camera.

She does wonders! Most of all in her specialist field of pinup photography.

And where there’s a pinup model (or preferably two), there’s always the chance of a spanking.

Or preferably two, as Sveta Maevskaya starts to demonstrate on Miss Tea here.

That wasn’t quite right, now, was it, Sveta? You have to put her properly across your knee! So what should the penalty be for botching a spanking pose? I know… and Miss Tea can help out too!

So let this be a lesson to you, Sveta:

If you are interested in Stu’s work, please visit her Instagram account.

Spanked by a Monkey

The television magician David Nixon once did a trick that involved a caged gorilla ‘magically’ switching places with someone outside the cage. This was a source of pleasurable wonderment for the viewing audience, but possibly not so wonderful for the show’s resident singer, Anita Harris.

A gorilla on the loose is often bad news for young women unlucky enough to be in its path. Here’s one young lady who had it even worse than Anita:

She’s Ayshea Brough, the miniskirted presenter of the British pop music show Lift Off with Ayshea, which ran for 144 editions between 1969 and 1974. Only three of those episodes still exist, sadly not including the one broadcast on October 24, 1973, in which the glam-rock band Wizzard performed ‘Angel Fingers’. One member of the band was dressed in a gorilla costume, and Ayshea was dressed as a schoolgirl in a straw boater and a very, very short skirt. Those who saw the show in 1973 vividly remember how, at the end of the song, the ‘gorilla’ picked her up, and the length of her skirt left her self-prepared for a spanking on the seat of her white panties.

This wasn’t a one-off: it seems gorillas often spank.

Here’s a 2013 ad for a Costa Rican nightclub.

There’s even a US heavy metal band named Gorilla Spank, which made it inevitable that certain imagery would make an appearance in their logo.

And in the years after World War Two, there was a European vaudeville comedy act called Christy and Gorilla. In reality, Christy was Miss Budiakoff, and the gorilla was Mr Bisogno, and in 1951 they toured the US with the Barnum and Bailey Circus. This enabled them to get into Cecil B. DeMille’s 1952 circus epic, The Greatest Show on Earth, which in turn preserved a lasting record of their act, including a less than perfect moment for Christy:

One gorilla that wasn’t a man in a suit was Roy Boy, who escapes from captivity in a 1943 sequence of Roy Crane’s newspaper strip Captain Easy, and abducts Lulu Belle after an unfortunate misunderstanding concerning her species.

When she tries to KO him with a right to the jaw, his response is, well, almost human:

Because of course, that’s nothing like how real gorillas behave. Any naturalist will tell you that the gorilla’s reputation for chaotic violence is a terrible misrepresentation of a species that are, in reality, placid and gentle.

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Aren’t they…?

More Danny, Deeper Blue Seas

Today we round up some more productions of John Patrick Shanley’s Danny and the Deep Biue Sea, starting with one from 2009 which starred an actual Danny, Daniel DeWeldon, though the actress he’s spanking isn’t a Roberta, but Deborah Dir:

A Spanish production:

In Japan:

And another Japanese production of 2018:

Still in 2018, but back in the USA (and in Texas, to be precise), here’s Marcelle Purdy as Roberta being spanked:

On to 2020, and at the Birmingham Festival Theatre in Alabama:

And on video after the pandemic hit, here are Vaho and Nathalie Tedrick, who previously did the play in Berkeley, California, in 2018:

Applause for them all!

Wedding Bands

похищение-невесты-на-свадьбе

It is sometimes said that weddings in Eastern Europe are undignified and sleazy occasions, which maybe tells you more about the hangups of the people saying it than it does about the weddings themselves.

What they’re upset about are the ‘wedding games’ that entertain the guests at the party celebrations after the actual splicing, which often involve a lot of raunchy contact between participants of different sexes. An especially entertaining one is like a communal game of matless Twister between competing couples,

and it’s common to see girls struggling to keep their short-skirted wedding finery in its proper place, not always with total success:

Then there’s one where couples have to burst a balloon without using their hands, which usually involves putting it in between them and squeezing – or, in at least one case, letting gravity do some of the work.

(The video for that one is here.)

But the game we’re mainly here to see involves selected guests forming a band, with the guys as the musicians and the gals as the instruments. It obviously owes something to the venerable Femme Orchestra cabaret sketch, but with the difference that this is primarily a participation game rather than a show. It is usually run by a party host who introduces each girl instrument individually and helps the players to simulate it, after which they give a ‘recital’ as a full band. I won’t go through them all, but there’s often something nice about the girl violin.

There’s even more pleasure in the girl piano:

But, happily, the large majority of the girls who end up in this position are drums,

and you know what that means!

Some are played two-handed, like bongos:

Occasionally drumsticks are provided:

There’s often extreme hilarity when the lucky lady is told how she is to position herself, because of course there’s just one primary association on everyone’s minds: they may not actually say it, but it’s all very much about spanking.

Not all achieve full OTK, but sometimes, just sometimes, half measures are good enough:

But some hosts put a lot of care and effort into making sure the girls are positioned just so:

Some guys are ultra-inhibited about it all.

Some are careful to avoid touching the girl’s bottom, and drum along her back instead:

The girls sometimes show the usual modest concern about the relative positions of their hemlines and their panties,

sometimes with good cause:

A long dress may be safer,

but not nearly as much fun as a short one!

One way to stay absolutely safe is to wear a pansuit to the wedding. But this does leave a girl prone to the visible panty line hazard:

From time to time, it’s not a wedding guest who gets spanked, but the bride:

But a good time is had by all!

Or most, at least…

Because ultimately the very best of these aren’t just faux-TK fun – they are proper, playful spankings, with fluttering legs and everything.

The game has been around since at least 2011, though the earliest example I’ve seen that features face-down OTK is from 2013. It seems to be played mainly or exclusively in Russia and Ukraine; weddings in countries further west, such as Poland or Hungary, have some of the same games, including the panty-revealing pseudo-Twister exercise (which very occasionally produces something relevant). But apparently they don’t go in for this one – or, at least, I haven’t found any examples, which is not necessarily the same thing. Here are the videos; as always, it’s best to take them a few at a time rather than gobble them up all at once. But there are some real spanking gems in there!

2013

2015, 2015, 2015, 2015, 2015, 2015

2016, 2016 (take 2), 2016

2017, 2017

2018, 2018, 2018, 2018, 2018, 2018

2019, 2019, 2019, 2019, 2019, 2019, 2019, 2019, 2019

2020, 2020, 2020, 2020, 2020, 2020

2021, 2021, 2021

Acknowledgement: Many thanks to Dean for first drawing this body of material to my attention.

Kaänga Rules!

We’re off to Africa today, to visit the mighty lord of the jungle. No, not the one you think. After the runaway success of Tarzan, 1940 saw the debut of another jungle hero in the first issue of Jungle Comics: Kaänga, ‘the mysterious white man of the jungle’. In the first story, Professor Mason and his daughter Ann are on safari but fall foul of an evil slave trader. Kaänga rescues her and brings her back to his jungle home, where she teaches him enough English to explain his history: his father was killed by natives, and a benevolent African took care of the orphaned toddler.

‘Me meet more kind jungle people. Me grow up among them. Learn jungle ways, and soon forget white man’s ways and talk.’

Ann’s response to that:

This plan does not go well: Kaänga himself is captured by the slave trader, and when he escapes, he decides to stay in the jungle. Ann believes she too must go back to her own environment and continue her father’s work; but in subsequent adventures she keeps needing to be rescued by Kaänga, and after a while she moves into his cave as his ‘mate’, with as little adverse comment as was directed at the cohabitation of Tarzan and Jane.

But Kaänga wasn’t entirely ignorant of ‘white man’s ways’, as we see in a couple of stories from 1947. We get an example of his and Ann’s domestic arrangements in ‘Skulls for the Altar of Doom’, when she wastes her time on fortune-telling with beads and neglects her kitchen responsibilities:

No spanking follows on that occasion, but it’s another matter in ‘Blood-Moon Over the Whispering Veldt’. In the previous adventure, Kaänga is enslaved by Princess Valla and saves her from an unworthy suitor, but declines her offer to become her consort: ‘A great honor, but one I must refuse. I have a mate already in my own land.’ She manumits him on condition that he wears her bracelet always. That sets up the initial situation in the ‘Blood-Moon’ story: jealous that he is wearing another woman’s trinket, Ann takes herself off, sabotaging his canoe to inhibit pursuit, and he swears, ‘this simple-minded woman, Ann, shall feel Kaänga’s wrath’. And, shortly afterwards, ‘I will track down this female imp and give her the punishment she deserves.’ In other words, Ann’s going to get a spanking!

Things don’t go entirely as expected, because of the presence on the veldt of Professor Lynn and his daughter Betty, who have come to photograph a rare gorilla mating ritual.

The upshot is that Kaänga catches and spanks… the wrong girl! And that reveals another little-known fact about our hero: he must be blind.

04 Spot the Difference 1

No, not really, but how on earth could Kaänga possibly mistake Betty for Ann? There is an answer to that, albeit not an especially satisfactory one, and we can start to see it if we trace the development of Ann’s look across the series.

At first, when she’s still an explorer in her own right, she wears sensible jodhpurs, as seen here in a strip drawn by Charles Sultan. (Note also the temporary change of hair color, though that’s not relevant to the point I’m developing.)

05 Ann 01

Once she has moved in with Kaänga, she routinely wears something closer to his trunks, as seen in the work of artist George Tuska:

06 Ann 2

Alex Blum took over drawing duties in 1941, which meant a change of swimsuit color.

07 Ann 03

A few months later, another change of artist (to Dan Zolnerowich) saw Ann’s attire begin to stabilize into its long-term form:

08 Ann 04

Throughout the 163-issue run of Jungle Comics, all the way to 1954, the covers took a ‘good girl art’ approach to Ann.

This gradually filtered into the strip itself, as seen in these splash pages by Saul Rosen and John Celardo (who also drew the ‘Blood-Moon’ story and the spanking panels we’re going to enjoy later):

Further evidence is provided by this selection of panels by Celardo, Jim Mooney and Maurice Whitman:

So when it comes to Ann Mason, what most readers of the strip are mainly looking at is not her face or her dark hair but a rather fetching jungle outfit. And there’s the source of Kaänga’s confusion in the ‘Blood-Moon’ story.

When Ann first sees Betty, she envies her clothes, which are not all that dissimilar to what she wore herself in the early months of the series.

After she saves Betty from a leopard, she asks to be allowed to wear her outfit:

A nude scene establishes that the swap has taken place:

Now let’s revisit the issue of ‘spot the difference’, bearing in mind that clothes make the woman:

15 Spot the Difference 2

So when Kaänga encounters a girl in a junglekini, blonde though she is, he unthinkingly takes her for his quarry, and spanks her.

Professor Lynn fires at Kaänga, causing him to fall off a cliff into the river, and then Betty realizes that he must have mistaken her for Ann – which seems to make both of them decide the spanking was acceptable behavior after all.

In fact, the only person who takes a different view of it is Ann herself, after she has been saved from the villains (yes, there are villains, too), and when Kaänga finally, in the very last panel, does what he has been out to do all the way through:

You can read the entire run of Jungle Comics here, along with a whole lot else.

Kiss Me Kate: 1994

The 1992 Estonian production with Tonu Kark and Helgi Sallo was televized on January 2. There was one especially interesting and innovative feature of the fight scene: it keeps cutting to shots of the stage manager, reacting with dismay as the onstage action strays progressively further from the promptbook. The spanking itself, however, was staged without any cutaways:

February 18 through March 12 saw the musical produced by the Footlighters of Pennsylvania, with Joe Tranchitella spanking Carolyn Curran:

And for the June 16 production at Eastern Illinois University Theatre, starring Adam Kozlowski and Coe Krause, we have not only the usual publicity graphic,

but also a photo of what actually happened onstage:

Back in the Baltic, the production by Borlänge Musikteater premiered September 30 and then toured Sweden, giving many localities the chance to see Ulla Sundqvist get spanked by Bengt Fredriksson:

That’s 1994 done. Now for 1995!