- Dates: 26th – 30th June 2018
- Venue: Gala Theatre
- Director: Christopher Carr & Lesley-Anne Crawford
- Musical Director: Andrew Soulsby
- Choreographer: Kathleen Knox
Egotistical leading man, director, and producer Fred Graham is reunited with his ex-wife, Lilli Vanessi, when the two are forced to play opposite one another in a new production of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. The battle of the sexes continues onstage and off, as it becomes clear that, as much as this couple profess to hate each other, they are also still in love. Alongside their bickering liaison, the show’s supporting actress, Lois Lane, supports her gambling boyfriend, Bill, as he attempts to evade the the clutches of local gangsters. Throw in a number of cases of mistaken identity, the mob, and comedic routines into the mix and you get Kiss Me, Kate — a dazzling Broadway classic that earned the very first Tony award for Best Musical.
- Frederick Graham – Anthony Smith
- Lilli Vanessi – Delia McNally
- Harry Trevor – Bev Thompson
- Lois Lane – Pascalle Rossle
- Bill Calhoun – Guy Lawes
- General Harrison Howell – Steve Hill
- First Gangster – Steve Norman
- Second Gangster – Paul Maddison
- Hattie – Wendy Hindmarch
- Paul – David O’Donnell
- Ralph – Geoff Knott
- Pops – Rob Gair
- The General’s Driver – Oliver Serginson
- The Cab Driver – Steward Harland
- Wardrobe Lady – Anne Gatherar
- Dance Captain – Emma Barthel
Emma Barthel, Steven Berry, Denise Beckford, Liz Cairns, Izzy Chazot, Dorren Cothay, John Cuckson, Christine Dobbie, Alison Elrick, Alan Francis, Rob Gair, Anne Gatherar, Emma Grisdale, Katy Haggart, Steward Harland, Steve Hill, John Hunt, Geoff Knott, Mike Langthorne, Catherine Lawes, Kristian Lopez, Natasha Lynn, Sue Morl, Sue Robinson, Oliver Serginson, Ed Turner, Claire Ungley, Caroline Wilson, Peter Wilson
Madeleine Banks, Jennifer Kirby, Georgia Roberts, Katie Smith, Emma Thursby, Emily Jo Willis
- Stage Manager – Craig Pugh
- Deputy Stage Manager – Heather Robertson
- Assitant Stage Managers – Gary Milton, Simon Lawes
- Technical Support – Tez Errington, Michael Long, Craig Walton & the Gala Crew
- Stage Crew – Anthony Dixon, Sarah Watson, Kameron Milton, Nicky Tones, Luke Stuart, Judith Willis & Team
- Stage Plans – Nicky Tones
- Set Hire – Scenic Projects Suffolk
- Properties Team – Denise Brooksbank, Melanie Spedding, Rachael Burnett, Sharon Milton, Judith Baglee, Peter Baglee, Maria Turner, Peter Turner
- Properties – Society Prop Store
- Extra Properties – Melanie Spedding, David Foxall
- Wardrobe – Jean Graham, Jane Flowers, Carolyn Knott, Kate Gair
- Costumes – Society Wardrobe, Dress Circle Costumes York, Alan Graham Costumes Consett
- Make-Up – Rebecca Turner, Maxine Hitch, Alison Smith & Team
- Wigs – Chris Carr Whitley Bay
- Lighting Design & Operation – Graham Rushton
- Sound Design – Tez Errington
- Sound Operator – Elliot Nelson
- Follow Spot Operators – Sarah Jackson, Emma Parnaby
- Prompt – Mary Nesbitt
- Rehearsal Pianists – Andrew Soulsby, Malcolm Moffat, Martin Dack, Peter Allsopp
- Front of House – Ruth Ball, Frank Cure, Val Cure, Bill Harland, Sharon Milton, Kameron Milton, Katy Walton, Shireen Gale, Bob Gale, Elizabeth Clapham
- Dressers – Maxine Hitch, Louise Mills, Noel McNarry, Valenda Taylor, Allison Smith & Team
- Refreshments – Joan Foxall, David Foxall, Audrey Robson & Team
- Reeds – Catherine Freeman, Amy Robson, Sue Ferris
- French Horn – Chris Senior
- Trumpet – Dave Hignetnt, Alistair Lord
- Trombone – John Flood
- Violin – Jane Cuggy, Gordon Dyke
- Viola – David Williams
- Cello – Peter Richardson
- Double Bass – Jim Bickle
- Guitar – Stuart Davies
- Percussion – Steven Moore, Mark Edwards
- Drums – Simon Ferry
- Keyboard – Malcolm Moffatt
“Kiss Me Kate” is really a show within a show based on Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” and contains some of Cole Porter’s greatest musical theatre songs. It is about the turbulent relationship between the actor and production manager, Frederick Graham and his leading lady and ex-wife, Lilli Vanessi together with a sub plot of chaos involving Fred’s lover, Lois Lane and her gambling boyfriend Bill Calhoun, not to mention the two gangsters who are demanding IOU money from Bill and subsequently Fred.
The large orchestra made a wonderful sound, they brought the beautiful updated score to life brilliantly and the new, more jazz centred orchestrations were a pleasure to listen to. The transitions from the portrayal of back stage to front stage flowed seamlessly and the lighting plot was well planned and enhanced the scenes.
The show opened with the hustle and bustle of “Another Op’nin’, Another Show” which was a super introduction to the characters and the backstage setting with superb solo vocals from Wendy Hindmarch as dresser Hattie. The ensemble numbers were all good but the highlight for me was “Too Darn Hot” (which also gained an empathic giggle from the audience due to the current climate), the dancing and singing were good and there was a strong solo vocal performance from David O’Donnel as Paul.
All of the supporting character roles were well portrayed and the dancers gave flawless presentations of Kathleen’s first-rate choreography.
Pascalle Rossle as Lois Lane/ Bianca was excellent, her characterisation, singing and dancing were all on pointe and “Always True to You” was a highlight of the show. The role of her on stage suitor Bill Calhoun/Lucentio was in the capable hands of Guy Lawes and his number “Bianca” with the dancers was super. The show’s two hapless gangsters, played by Steve Norman and Paul Maddison were audience favourites and their “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” was a comic delight before the show’s finale.
The experience and vocal ability of the two leads in this production shone through; Delia McNally as Lilli Vanessi/Kate and Anthony Smith as Frederick Graham/Pertruchio were superb and gave terrific interpretations of these substantial roles. There were many stand out vocal performances by these two formidable performers but my personal favourites were “So in Love” and “Where is the Life that Late I Led”.
This was the first production for DMTC under the direction of Christopher and Lesley-Anne and I think they should be very proud; they gave an old classic musical new life and gave us a very stylish and entertaining production. Well done everyone.