Review: Kiss Me, Kate – Blackmore Vale

Another fantastic review today, this time from the Blackmore Vale magazine. Tickets are still on sale, and the show ends on Saturday – please do come along!

Based on The Taming of the Shrew, this musical is arguably one of the hardest to produce as it needs singers, not just with acting skills, but with the ability to deliver the Bard’s verse.

It is a play within a play. An American theatre company are opening at a theatre in Baltimore with the Shakespeare play and the conflict between the two leading actors is replicated on stage. Fortunately the company has been able to call upon some talented performers.

Mark Ward, a highly experienced actor more than fills the shoes of Fred/Petruchio, as he like his co-star Julie Gower (Lilli/Kate), has impressive stage presence. Their complicated relationship – they had previously been married – brings just the right measure of tension coupled with humour.

With a 17-strong cast – plus four actors who have a variety of roles, together with six dancers – it is not possible to mention everyone in this colourful show, however several other performances have to be highlighted.

Sally Ager is a real winner as Lois/Bianca. Not only does she keep up a very strong Southern American accent, she fizzes with every move.

Teamed with her is her gambler boyfriend, Lee Neal, who never overacts but always gets under the skin of his roles.

The songs were written by Cole Porter and there are several very catchy numbers such as Wunderbar, Always True to You in My Fashion and Another Op’nin Another Show, with Duncan Sayers as Paul/Gremio providing a rather good rendition of Too Darn Hot.

Frank Holden and Bill Mason add a valuable comedic touch as the two gangsters in this well rehearsed production, directed and choreographed by Suzi De Villiers, with musical direction by Lee Redwood.

If you’re not a Shakespeare fan, don’t be put off from buying your ticket, as you will enjoy this show, which runs until Saturday.

Marilyn Barber, Blackmore Vale

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