Posts with the label Kiss Me Kate
Showing posts with label Kiss Me Kate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kiss Me Kate. Show all posts

Saturday 24 November 2018

In Conversation With... Rebecca Lock | Kiss Me Kate | Interview

Fresh from starring as Ms Fleming in Heathers, Rebecca Lock is tackling the tough but exciting role of Lilli in the Sheffield Crucible's production of Kiss Me, Kate. Rebecca chatted to us all about the show, how Lilli is an ever relevant character and what people can expect from this new production...

Can you tell us a little about Kiss Me, Kate and how your character, Lilli, fits in? 
Kiss Me, Kate is a Cole Porter musical about the inner workings of a travelling touring acting company and, in particular, about the tempestuous relationship between the two leading actors – Fred Graham and Lilli Vanessi – who are a newly divorced couple coming together for the first time in year to play opposite each other in The Taming of the Shrew. It’s a brilliant premise and you are taken on a journey of love, romance, mistaken identity and intrigue throughout. It’s a real whirlwind with tremendous highs and lows, beautiful music, incredibly dance routines, farce and a total transportation to the 1940’s world of glamour and Hollywood. It’s an absolute gift to any actor and I’m relishing every second of playing Lilli! 

Lilli is a very vocally taxing role, how do you go about tackling her and performing in a way to maintain your voice and vocal health?
The somersault vocals as Lilli/Kate are taxing but it’s something I’ve always loved in all the roles I’ve played in my career; a real diversity of style – one second a lilting soprano for Wunderbar, and then belting my head off in I Hate Men, then finishing Act One with a coloratura that would fit nicely at the ENO, it’s brilliant! Of course, I have to look after myself. I’m drinking plenty of water, sleeping plenty and doing all the steaming – I don’t think I’m going to be able to partake in the usual jollities this Christmas! Although, I’ll maybe manage to sneak in a medicinal glass of port... or two. 

What’s your favourite moment in Kiss Me, Kate
Oh, there are so many! At the moment i’m really loving all the fighting we’re [Edward Baker Duly who plays Fred/Petruchio] getting to do as our play-within-a-play characters, it’s awesome. No holds barred. 

In the era of #MeToo, Lilli seems like an extremely relevant character; is this something which drew you to the role? 
I feel very honoured to have been trusted with a role like Lilli in today’s world. We do tackle some themes in the show of domestic abuse; there’s a famous scene towards the end of Act One where Fred [on stage as Petruchio] spanks Lilli [as Kate] which, in past productions, has been played for laughs with the exposing of frilly bloomers but actually, it isn’t at all hilarious that this man is hitting a woman. In our production, the genius that is Paul Foster [Director] has brought the situation right up to 2018 and tackles the scene in a new and very real way. Lilli definitely gives as much as she gets during the fight and it’ll be interesting to see how the audience react to this new and raw way of playing it – it’s an important story to tell. 

What can audiences expect from this production of Kiss Me, Kate and why should they come to see it?
This production of Kiss Me, Kate is going to be a beautifully new, fresh and extremely funny show for a 2018 audience. I’m so excited for people to see it. The combination of Matt Flint’s breathtaking choreography and getting to work under the direction of Paul Foster is making this one of those really special productions that I am sure I will look back on and remember as a firm favourite. 

What is your pre-show warm up like? 
My pre-show routine is rather mundane: I eat about 4.30pm so I’m not digesting food during the show and burping in Edward [Baker Duly]’s face, then I get make-up ready for our company physical and vocal warm ups, then back to the dressing room to wig up and get dressed. I like to be ready to go by the five minute call so I’m not panicking and running late. I tend to always have a Jakemans’ throat sweet before beginners – not for medicinal purposes, just because it’s nice and comforting – and then, of course, a last minute wee. The show is so busy that I’m definitely not going to have a wee break until the interval! 

Who would your dream duet partner be? 
Hmm, good question! There are so many wonderful singers who would be so dreamy to duet with, but I’d have to say Audra McDonald. I absolutely love her rich, full and velvety voice and think we’d just have a brilliant time. 

What’s your top piece of advice for aspiring performers in terms of finding and maintaining your voice? 
To all aspiring new performers who are finding and maintaining their true voice, I would say to be yourselves. Be inspired by other singers but don’t imitate. Your individuality and unique quality is something you should be proud of – there’s only one you, embrace it! Oh, and drink plenty of water, get lots of sleep and avoid noisy places – talking loudly can be a killer when it comes to vocal health. 

Kiss Me, Kate is at the Crucible Theatre from Friday 7 December – Saturday 12 January

photo credit: Manuel Harlan

In Conversation With... Rebecca Lock | Kiss Me Kate | Interview

Saturday 24 November 2018

Thursday 21 June 2018

Kiss Me, Kate, London Coliseum | Review

Kiss Me, Kate
London Coliseum
Reviewed on Wednesday 20th June 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 

Kiss Me Kate is Cole Porter's 1949 musical play in two acts which interweaves a production of The Taming of the Shrew with a number of dramatic backstage battles. After touring for a while, Opera North's production has slipped into the London Coliseum for a short run which showcases it's glorious score and stellar cast.

The book is certainly at the core of this show. We see the actors putting on a revised musical version of the Taming of the Shrew in addition to focussing on the battle between actors and ex-partners, Fred Graham and Lilli Vanessi who can't seem to budge one another. At times, especially in Act 2, the show does drag; at three hours long you certainly need to grab a coffee beforehand but there's also enough variation to keep you somewhat on your toes.

The plot is helped along by the smooth set transitions that come from Colin Richmond's minimalistic backdrop featuring painted drops and revolving slides. These cleverly transport us from on stage, to backstage, but the whole production does feel a bit small for the vast space of the Coliseum. Much of the front stage is not used which makes the show feel distanced and somewhat unwelcoming as things get lost whilst being performed at the rear of the stage. Richmond's costumes are beautiful and bring an almost modern twist to the show whilst maintaining it's traditional  Shakespearean roots.

The classic orchestrations are played in all their original glory which is truly magnificent to hear. From the jazzy Too Darn Hot to Olde English melodies, the orchestra of Opera North, led by David Greed do an outstanding job of making everything buoyant and virtuosic.

You couldn't ask for a better cast to perform this monstrous show; drawn from both the opera world and the musical theatre world, they combine to create some magical moments. Baritone Quirijn De Lang and soprano Stephanie Corley are musically outstanding as Fred and Lilli. Two fiery characters, they give boisterous performances which bite and claw, with a loving undertone throughout. Corley's I Hate Men is a true powerhouse moment.

Zoƫ Rainey sings as if her life depends on it and completely steals the show in act two with her vast rendition of Always True To You In My Fashion. The multiple repetitions in this song and others do become somewhat draining but Rainey's performance is worth the ticket price alone as she performs with energy and vocal brilliance.

Act two provides spellbinding moment after spellbinding moment with Alan Burkitt's tap number completely dancing everyone off the stage. He gives a magnetic, faultless performance which could be watched over and over.

A the two gunmen, John Savournin and Joseph Shovelton steal the scenes they're a part of and give humourous performances throughout.

The ensemble do a wonderful job of bulking out the show but at times do feel underdeveloped, especially in terms of choreography. There could have been some really powerful group choreographic moments but unfortunately these were left out.

Kiss Me Kate has comedy, innuendos, a beautiful score and a stellar cast. It's a long show that could definitely be chopped here and there but there's no denying that it's a marvellous piece of theatre. Despite some issues, the gems of performances that are spotted around do make it a Wunderbar production.

Kiss Me Kate runs until June 30th at the London Coliseum

For tickets and information about the show, visit

photo credit: Tristram Kenton

Kiss Me, Kate, London Coliseum | Review

Thursday 21 June 2018