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David Porter » Reviews » Kiss Me Kate

Kiss Me Kate

Norwich and Norfolk Operatic Society at the Theatre Royal, Norwich

Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 27 January 2004

Kiss Me Kate

A sizzling heart-warmer is filling the stage of the Theatre Royal this week – a perfect antidote to the winter chill outside.

The plot is cleverly interwoven with The Taming of the Shrew, but it isn’t necessary – as the song says – to Brush Up Your Shakespeare.

This is no ordinary backstage-onstage romance. It is what many regard as Cole Porter’s finest work. Songs such as Another Op’ning Another Show, Why Can’t You Behave, Wunderbar, So In Love and I Hate Men stick in the mind and come back afterwards very agreeably.

The show is a treat. It looks good, sounds good. Costumes and lighting, singing and full orchestra, actors and dancers – all in harmony, working together with the added topping of fun and humour at every turn.

Peter Howell as Fred Graham, and Sarah Pryde playing Katharine, merit a mention for quality renditions. Amanda Howell gives us a non-irritating air-head, while the two gangsters (Ian Chisholm and Andy Boesen) with their sure comic touches, would steal the show if it wasn’t such a strong cast.

For me, the best number is Too Darn Hot which opens the second half. It really is hot, but it’s a tough call with such a tight, well-directed ensemble and solo performances.

Once again, the Norfolk and Norwich Operatic Society has added to its reputation, and its admirers left the theatre tapping their feet and humming the songs which were reprised in the grand finale.

A great night out!

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