Saturday, 26 January 2013
Kiss Me Kate at The Old Vic
Kiss Me, Kate is a musical with music and lyrics by Cole Porter. The story involves the production of a musical version of William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew and the conflict on and off-stage between Fred Graham, the show's director, producer, and star, and his leading lady, his ex-wife Lilli Vanessi. A secondary romance concerns Lois Lane, the actress playing Bianca, and her gambler boyfriend, Bill, who runs afoul with some gangsters.
Kiss Me, Kate is full of wonderful songs throughout the show. The songs in Act I are "Another Op'nin', Another Show" – Hattie and Company, "Why Can't You Behave?" – Lois Lane and Bill Calhoun, "Wunderbar" – Fred Graham and Lilli Vanessi, "So in Love" – Lilli Vanessi, "We Open in Venice" – Fred Graham, Lilli Vanessi, Lois Lane and Bill Calhoun, "Tom, Dick or Harry" – Bianca, Lucentio, Gremio and Hortensio, "I've Come to Wive it Wealthily in Padua" – Fred Graham and The Men, "I Hate Men" – Lilli Vanessi, "Were Thine That Special Face" – Fred Graham, "We Sing of Love (Cantiamo D'Amore)" – Lois Lane, Bill Calhoun and Ensemble and "Kiss Me, Kate" – Fred Graham, Lili Vanessi and Ensemble.
In Act II the songs are Too Darn Hot" – Paul and Ensemble, "Where is the Life That Late I Led?" – Fred Graham, "Always True to You in My Fashion" – Lois Lane, "From This Moment On" – Harrison Howell and Lilli Vanessi, "Bianca" – Bill Calhoun and Company, "So in Love" (Reprise) – Fred Graham, "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" – First Gangster and Second Gangster, "I Am Ashamed That Women Are So Simple" – Lilli Vanessi and "Kiss Me, Kate" (Reprise = Finale) – Company.
The Old Vic was established in 1818 as the Royal Coburg Theatre, it was taken over by Emma Cons in 1880 when it was known formally as the Royal Victoria Hall. In 1898, a niece of Cons, Lilian Baylis assumed management and began a series of Shakespeare productions in 1914. The building was damaged in 1940 during air raids and it became a Grade II listed building in 1951 after it reopened.
It was also the name of a repertory company that was based at the theatre. The company formed the core of the National Theatre of Great Britain on its formation in 1963, under Laurence Olivier. The National Theatre remained at the Old Vic until new premises were constructed on the South Bank, opening in 1976. It underwent complete refurbishment in 1985. In 2003 Kevin Spacey was appointed as new artistic director of the Old Vic Theatre Company which received considerable media attention.
It was an amazing experience to visit The Old Vic and attend such a wonderful show as Kiss Me, Kate. This Theatre is full of history and such a beautiful building and was the perfect place to enjoy such a brilliant musical. There was a capacity audience on the night who were entertained for three hours with a splendid performance from all the cast which included lots of laughs on the way. I really enjoyed all the great songs which made this truly a night to remember.