Opera North’s award-winning production of Cole Porter’s classic musical comedy, Kiss Me, Kate, opens at Leeds Grand Theatre in May, then touring to the Ravenna Festival, to the London Coliseum for a two-week run in June, and moving to the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh in July.
Cole Porter’s riotously inventive homage to the sparkling wit of Shakespeare, Kiss Me, Kate is an irresistible celebration of the joy and madness of working in theatre.
On the opening night of a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew in 1940s Baltimore, the tempestuous love lives of actor-manager Fred Graham and his leading lady (and ex-wife) Lilli Vanessi are set to collide. Throw in Fred’s current paramour Lois Lane and her gambler boyfriend Bill – plus a couple of gun-toting gangsters who somehow get caught up in the show – and the stage is set for a funny and farcical battle of the sexes!
Turning Fred’s head, Zoë Rainey comes to the role of Lois Lane/Bianca flushed with the success of An American in Paris at the Dominion. As well as knowing her way around the Great American Songbook, Zoë is an accomplished dramatic actor, and was a member of the stellar company assembled by Sir Kenneth Branagh for his 2015 residency at the Garrick.
Dancer, singer and actor Alan Burkitt returns as Bill Calhoun/Lucentio, having played the role during Welsh National Opera’s run of Kiss Me, Kate in 2016 – which he followed with another trip to Tin Pan Alley in the lead role of Top Hat. Also returning from previous runs, Joseph Shovelton and John Savournin will reprise their scene-stealing turn as the dopey mobsters gifted one of Cole Porter’s most brilliant works, ‘Brush Up Your Shakespeare’.
Full cast: Quirijn de Lang, Stephanie Corley, Zoë Rainey, Alan Burkitt, Jack Wilcox, Aiesha Pease, Stephane Anelli, Joseph Shovelton, John Savournin, James Hayes, Malcolm Ridley, Claire Pascoe, Michelle Andrews, Rachael Crocker, Freya Field, Kate Ivory Jordan, Harrison Clark, Jordan Livesey, Ben Oliver and Ross Russell.
Leeds Grand Theatre 23-26 May 2018
Teatro Alighieri, Ravenna, Italy 7-9 Jun 2018
London Coliseum 20-30 Jun 2018 – Buy tickets
Festival Theatre, Edinburgh 4-7 July 2018