Performances: March 21-25 2018
The Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds
About The Show
For the Society, Kiss Me, Kate was quite a departure. The theatrical climate of the world had changed significantly since the Hunslet St Silas Choral and Operatic Society became the Leeds Gilbert and Sullivan Society in the 1950s and we could no longer survive performing G&S alone. The company had a diverse and vibrant membership who were ready for a new challenge and were commended for taking a risk.
Having said this, it was important to us to remain ‘classic’ in our approach to theatrical endeavours. So Kiss Me, Kate seemed a lovely choice, a classic 40s musical with Cole Porter’s timeless score. This show has allowed us to explore the works of Shakespeare, experiment with the wonderful jazzy rhythms of 1940s music and most of all dance like we have had never had opportunity before.
Kiss Me, Kate is actually a fairly tricky story to tell. It belongs well and truly in the 1940s due to the very outdated references to the treatment of women. The story of Taming of the Shrew itself is a very difficult story to present and provides a directorial challenge. How can we do justice to this comic piece whilst still managing to maintain the integrity of the romance to a modern audience? For this reason the piece has remained solidly set in the 1940s but the audience noticed some intentional changes to the representation of some of the women and scenes, not least the casting of a female gangster!
The cast were taken well and truly out of their comfort zone and worked tirelessly to bring this show to the Carriageworks stage.
- Hattie – Heather Greenwood
- Ralph – Katie Lister
- Paul – Philip Case
- Lois/Bianca – Nicky Burrows
- Bill/Lucentio – Scott Penn
- Lilli/Katherine – Rebecca Jelbert
- Fred/Petruchio – Jason Weightman
- Harry/Baptista – Richard Pascoe
- Hortensio – Matthew Oglesby
- Gremio – Andrew Aspland
- Sarah Case – First Gangster
- Matt Stirk – Second Gangster
- Graeme Lister – General Howell
Company: Jasmine Caine, Janet Clarke, Anne Futers, Emily Futers, Diana Ghirardi, Shirley Hoyland, Janet Johnston, Sophie Moul, Gillian Myers, Emma Stirk, Becky Barwick, Jackie Dunderdale, Felicity Dunk, Megan Henderson, Pat Kearney, Emma Smith, Joy Suthern, Ruth Watkins, Bryan Butler, John Haywood, Peter Loveday, Will Gausden, Dave Harrison, Tony Lee, Bob Little, Dan Potts.
Director = Anita Adams; Musical Director = Jonathan Drummond
Side by side comparison (sped-up) of rehearsal and stage performance of the big dance number.