Follow Us on Twitter

Kiss Me, Kate - Old Vic

Hannah Waddingham as Desiree Armfeldt

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE OLD Vic and Chichester Festival Theatre production of Cole Porter’s multi award-winning musical, Kiss Me, Kate, runs at the Old Vic from December 3, 2012 (previews from November 20) to March 2, 2013.

Directed by Trevor Nunn and choreographed by Stephen Mear, the cast includes Alex Bourne (as Fred Graham/Petruchio), David Burt (Gangster 1), Adam Garcia (Bill Calhoun/Lucentio), Clive Rowe (Gangster 2) and Hannah Waddingham (Lilli Vanessi/Kate).

Featuring music and lyrics by Cole Porter and with a book by Sam and Bella Spewack, Kiss Me, Kate is an exuberant show-within-a-show, bringing together the worlds of gun-toting gangsters, sparring actors and Shakespeare’s original characters from The Taming of the Shrew.

The score features numbers such as Too Darn Hot, Brush Up Your Shakespeare, Another Op’nin’, Another Show, So In Love Am I and Always True To You (In My Fashion).

Alex Bourne’s theatre credits include West End productions of We Will Rock You, Chicago, Grease, Beauty and the Beast, Only the Lonely and Showboat (RSC and Opera North) as well as the national tour of The Rocky Horror Show.

David Burt’s theatre credits include the West End productions of Crazy for You, The Woman in White, the title role in Edmund Kean, for which he received an Evening Standard Award nomination, the original RSC and West End production of Les Misérables, Cats, Evita and La Traviata (Donmar Warehouse), for which he received an Olivier Award nomination.

His other credits include The Merchant of Venice, Candide and Troilus and Cressida (all for the National Theatre) and The Beggar’s Opera (RSC) for which he received an Olivier Award nomination.

Adam Garcia’s theatre work includes West End productions of Grease,
Saturday Night Fever
(in which he played the central character of Tony Manero), Wicked and Tap Dogs. As well as a judge on television’s Got to Dance, his other screen credits include Britannia High, Wilde,
Coyote Ugly
and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.

Clive Rowe’s numerous theatre credits include the recent West End production of The Ladykillers (as One Round), West End productions of The Fantasticks and Chicago, Twelfth Night, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Troilus and Cressida (Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park), Caroline, or Change, Candide, Peter Pan, Guys and Dolls for which he received an Olivier Award, and Carousel for which he received an Olivier Award nomination (all at the National Theatre).

He has also appeared on stage in Measure for Measure and Twelfth Night (RSC) and Carmen Jones (Old Vic). His credits also include numerous acclaimed performances as a Dame in pantomimes at the Hackney Empire, and his role in the popular children’s BBC TV drama series Tracy Beaker.

Hannah Waddingham’s theatre work includes the West End producton of
The Wizard of Oz for which she received the 2012 Whatsontage Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical, Into the Woods (Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park), A Little Night Music (Menier Chocolate Factory and West End) and Spamalot (Broadway and West End) – she received Olivier Award nominations for the two latter productions – as well as West End productions of Grease, The Beautiful Game, for which she received a Critics’ Circle Award nomination, and Lautrec.

Trevor Nunn has been Artistic Director of both the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. His musical credits include Porgy and Bess, My Fair Lady, Anything Goes, The Woman in White, Les Misérables, Starlight Express and Cats. His other theatre credits include Flare Path, Rock ‘n’ Roll, King Lear, Hamlet and Macbeth.

He also directed Richard II and Inherit the Wind (Old Vic), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Chichester Festival Theatre and West End) and Cyrano de Bergerac.

Stephen Mear’s work as a choreographer includes She Loves Me (which he also directed), The Music Man, Funny Girl and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Chichester), Mary Poppins, Hello, Dolly! and Crazy For You (West End). Mear also worked with Trevor Nunn on the National Theatre’s 2002 production of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes which transferred to the West End.

Kiss Me, Kate is designed by Robert Jones, with dance arrangements,
musical supervision and musical direction by Gareth Valentine, lighting by Tim Mitchell and sound by Paul Groothuis. Orchestrations are by Chris Egan.

This co-production of Kiss Me, Kate reunites the Old Vic and Chichester Festival Theatre to celebrate the historic partnership initiated by Laurence Olivier between the two theatres in this, Chichester’s 50th anniversary year.

Prior to Kiss Me, Kate, Brian Friel’s adaptation of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler runs at the Old Vic from September 12 (previews from September 5) to November 10, 2012.