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Tuesday, 30 July 2019

REVIEW: Kiss Me, Kate at the Watermill Theatre, Newbury

Kiss Me Kate is a musical that I have admired ever since seeing the 1987 Old Vic production directed by Adrian Noble and starring Nichola McAuliffe and Paul Jones as Lilli and Fred with the gangsters played by Emil Wolk and John Bardon. The show won two 1987 Olivier Award for Outstanding Performance of the Year in a Musical. So, it was with some anticipation I ventured down to the Watermill for the first ever actor/musician version of the show after seeing their four-star versions of Sweet Charity and Amelie.

Paul Hart again directs a cast of twelve actor musicians in the intimate Watermill Theatre with set design by Frankie Bradshaw (who did excellent sets for Jerusalem there and for Sweat at Donmar) but on this occasion they fall short of my expectations. The set is unimaginative, an old paint frame and a red front cloth to denote whether we are backstage or on stage in the production of the Taming of the Shrew and the direction seems to encourage overacting and rather obvious stagey laughs. When you are trying to play a bad actor, the character must convey belief that they are a good actor otherwise it just comes across as false and hammy.

Sunday, 30 June 2019

What's Closing on Broadway

Recently, Broadway has announced quite a few closures of shows. We decided to put together a list of shows that are closing within the next couple of months on Broadway, if you're going over be sure to book tickets soon! Some of these you won't want to miss. 

Kiss Me, Kate 

In Cole Porter’s sparkling 1948 musical, the warring lovers of The Taming of the Shrew are causing trouble both onstage and off. While putting on a musical version of Shakespeare’s play, exes Fred Graham and Lilli Vanessi can’t decide if they’re enraged, enamoured or enormously confused whenever they cross paths out of character. Throw in some mistaken identity, a pair of surprisingly eloquent gangsters and a whole lot of romantic entanglements, and what you get is Kiss Me, Kate - a dazzling classic that earned the first-ever Tony Award for Best Musical.

Kiss Me, Kate finishes its Broadway run at Studio 54 today, June 30th.
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