Make a date with Kiss Me, Kate!

Posted on 27 March 2024

It’s been seven decades in the making, but the wait is almost over! First performed in 1948, Kiss Me, Kate, the bawdy Broadway classic, is making its highly anticipated return to the UK this summer. Wunderbar! 

Featuring an all-star troupe of strolling players, including musical theatre legend Stephanie J. Block, Line of Duty star Adrian Dunbar, and Olivier nominee Charlie Stemp, tickets to the much-loved musical are the hottest in town (some may say they’re Too Darn Hot…) Playing for a strictly limited run at the Barbican Theatre from 4 June, don’t miss your chance to see this multi award-winning show. Book your tickets now!

Why should you see the show?

Kiss Me, Kate made history when it became the first ever winner of Best Musical at the 1949 Tony awards. The groundbreaking production wasn’t content with one bit of bling however, picking up a further four statues at that year’s ceremony, including Best Original Score, Best Author, and Best Costume Design. Revivals of the musical have been just as successful, with the 1999 production picking up five Tony’s, whilst the West End adaptation added two Olivier awards to the collection. It wasn’t just a critical success, audiences went wild for the show, and it quickly became one of Cole Porter’s most popular works.

It may have made history, but it doesn’t mean the production is stuck in the past! Hilariously fun and energetic, Kiss Me, Kate is a true romp that will leave you breathless. The fast-paced songs are as funny as they are catchy, and even went on to have a life after the show - with Ella FritzgeraldPeggy LeeJulie Andrews, and Shirley Bassey all have all recording their own versions of the hits. We can’t recommend singing Tom, Dick and Harry on the school run though! Porter’s mum labelled him a ‘very naughty boy’ for those lyrics, which repeats Dicks name ten times in the space of 20 seconds! Yes, this definitely isn’t an old-fashioned show!

Cole Porter 

The brains behind the big hits. Cole Porter has left an indelible mark on the world of musical theatre, with his witty lyrics and memorable melodies continuing to captivate audiences’ decades after he first put them to paper. Kiss Me, Kate broke new ground by integrating music, dance, and storytelling in a way that felt organic. Inspired by Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! it was one of the first musicals that used songs to push the story along. The numbers are integral to the plot, in addition to being certified bangers!

Written shortly after Porters horrific horse-riding accident, Kiss Me, Kate is the result of the lyricist’s self-medication. Unable to walk for serval months after the procedure, he sat down at his desk and poured over the lyrics, absorbing himself in the new world he was creating. As a result, the musical features some of his most emotional songs, in addition to the feel-good hits.  

In addition to Kiss Me, Kate, Porter penned the multi award-winning Anything Goes and High Society. Porter's sophisticated compositions and sharp wit, set a high standard for subsequent generations of musical theatre creators, his influence can be seen everywhere. His legacy lives on not only in revivals of his works, but also in the ongoing evolution of musical theatre as an art form that continues to entertain and inspire audiences worldwide. In recognition of his enduring impact on the music industry, Cole Porter was posthumously honoured with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989.

What is Kiss Me, Kate about?

Shakespeare’s much-loved comedy could turn into a tragedy, when two bickering divorcées take to the stage! Fred Graham (Adrian Dunbar), an egotistical actor-producer, casts his ex-wife Lilli Vanessi (Stephanie J. Block), opposite him in his new musical adaptation of ‘The Taming of the Shrew.’ Fred hopes to win back Lilli's affections, but their fiery relationship leads to conflict both onstage and off. Meanwhile, supporting actors Lois Lane (Georgina Onuorah) and Bill Calhoun (Charlie Stemp) add their own romantic entanglements and misunderstandings to the mix.

As the show progresses, the lines between the characters and the actors who portraying them blur. Soon backstage arguments spill on to the stage, threatening to cause chaos on opening night. However, as the prolific playwright once penned ‘the course of true love never did run smooth,’ and the couple, despite their passionate fury, find themselves falling for each other once more. Will their new-found love story have a happy ending, or will it close early?

Hear what the stars have to say!

The West End cast of Kiss Me, Kate; Adrian Dunbar, Stephanie J. Block, Charlie Stemp, Georgina Onuorah, Nigel Lindsay, and Hammed Animashaun, discuss why you need to make a date to see Kiss Me, Kate. Catch what they have to say here.

Book tickets to Kiss Me, Kate today!

The critically acclaimed smash-hit musical is not just another op'nin' of another show! Book your tickets today.

Book Kiss Me, Kate tickets now