Kiss Me, Kate survives the test of time

Photo by Tony Bartholomew

Rehearsals are well under way for a new production of Kiss Me, Kate in Scarborough from 25-28 October.

It will be presented by UK Foundation for Dance and Sandside Players at the YMCA Theatre.

Cole Porter’s classic backstage musical is celebrating 70 years since its triumphant 1948 Broadway premiere.

It won the first Tony award for a musical and was followed by long runs in New York and London, the hit 1953 MGM film and constant productions around the world ever since, including three in Yorkshire this year alone.

A play within a play, it’s about a theatre company performing a new musical version of Shakespeare’s comedy The Taming of the Shrew.

It’s set on the opening night, in Baltimore in 1948, in a stifling heatwave.

Tension mounts and romantic complications ensue, as the on-stage sparring of Kate and Petruchio, played by a recently divorced couple, spills over backstage.

An ambitious nightclub singer is determined to become a Broadway star at any cost, despite her feckless boyfriend’s antics, the leading lady threatens to quit and the show is saved by the unexpected intrusion of two gangsters with Shakespearean pretensions.

Cole Porter’s hit-packed score includes Another Op’nin’, Another Show, Too Darn Hot, Why Can’t You Behave?, So in Love, Always True to You in my Fashion, Wunderbar, I Hate Men and Brush up Your Shakespeare.

Under the expert musical direction of Bill Scott, Kiss Me, Kate is directed by Tim Tubbs and choreographed by Katrina Flynn.

The show’s 29-strong cast includes Rebecca Kelly-Evans as Kate, Damon Hotchin as Petruchio, Georgie Samuels as Bianca, Liam Galashan as Lucentio, Kathryn Irwin as Hattie, Charlie Simon-Shaw as Paul, Gremio as Nathan Mundey, Andrew Clay as Hortensio and Robin Newman as Baptista, with Jonathan Jeeves and Tim Tubbs as the gangsters.

A great Broadway classic, Kiss Me, Kate promises an amusingly witty story of egocentric actors, backstage feuds and Shakespearian shenanigans, with gorgeous costumes, songs and dances.

The show can be seen at 7.30pm on 25-27 October and 3pm on 28 October.

Tickets cost £12 (seniors £10, under-18s £7.50). Groups get a free ticket with every 10 purchased. To book, ring 506750 or go online at www.ymcascarborough.uk.