Another Op’nin, Another Show as Opera North returns with new Kiss Me Kate tour

Kiss Me, Kate. Image Guy Farrow.

Opera North’s smash hit production of Kiss Me, Kate is so darned hot that it is back for another tour that will take in London, Leeds, Edinburgh and Italy.

An outstanding cast of West End stars has been named to appear alongside two Opera North favourites for the return of the award-winning production of Cole Porter’s classic musical comedy which opens at Leeds Grand Theatre in May.

Cole Porter’s riotously inventive homage to the sparkling wit of Shakespeare, Kiss Me, Kate is an irresistible celebration of the joy and madness of working in theatre.

On the opening night of a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew in 1940s Baltimore, the tempestuous love lives of actor-manager Fred Graham and his leading lady (and ex-wife) Lilli Vanessi are set to collide.

Throw in Fred’s current paramour Lois Lane and her gambler boyfriend Bill – plus a couple of gun-toting gangsters who somehow get caught up in the show – and the stage is set for a funny and farcical battle of the sexes.

Stephanie Corley joins the cast of Kiss Me, Kate for the first time, in the role of Lilli Vanessi/ Kate with Quirijn de Lang returning as Lilli’s ex-husband and tormentor-in chief, Fred Graham/Petruchio.

Turning Fred’s head, Zoë Rainey comes to the role of Lois Lane/Bianca flushed with the West End success of An American in Paris at the Dominion Theatre.

They are joined by West End stars Alan Burkitt, Joseph Shovelton, John Savournin, Aiesha Pease, Stephane Anelli, James Hayes, Jack Wilcox and Malcolm Ridley.

Richard Mantle, general director, Opera North said: “Kiss Me, Kate is a real treat of a show, boasting what is probably Cole Porter’s richest, most accomplished theatrical score.

“It’s serious fun, and Opera North’s landmark production approaches it with the respect it demands, benefiting from David Charles Abell’s critical edition of the score and recognizing the huge range of musical and dramatic skills that it calls for.

“It’s with this in mind that we have brought together a formidably gifted cast from the worlds of opera and musical theatre, to join the internationally-acclaimed forces of the Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing this stunning production back to the stage in 2018.”

Kiss Me Kate, a co-production with Welsh National Opera, runs at Leeds Grand Theatre from May 23 – 26; Teatro Alighieri, Ravenna, Italy, June 7 – 9; London Coliseum, June 20 – 30 and Festival Theatre, Edinburgh July 4 – 7.

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