Adrian Dunbar and Stephanie J Block are set to star in a new production of Kiss Me, Kate at the Barbican Theatre in London for Summer 2024.
Directed by Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher (The King & I), the production is produced by Trafalgar Theatre Productions (Anything Goes).
Award-winning actor screen and stage actor Adrian Dunbar (Ridley, Line of Duty) makes his musical theatre debut as Fred Graham/Petruchio in the show, and Broadway musical superstar and Tony Award Winner Stephanie J. Block (Into The Woods, The Cher Show, 9 to 5) makes her West End debut as Lilli Vanessi/Katharine.
Kiss Me, Kate is a charming homage to the sparkling wit of Shakespeare and an irresistible celebration of the joy and madness of working in theatre. The show features a book by Bella and Samuel Spewack with music and lyrics by Cole Porter.
The creative team will also include choreography by Anthony Van Laast, set design by Michael Yeargan, costume design by Catherine Zuber, lighting design by Donald Holder, sound design by Adam Fisher, and musical supervision by Stephen Ridley.
Cole Porter’s witty, jazz-inflected score features hit after hit, with show-stopping numbers including ‘Another Op’nin’ Another Show,’ ‘Brush Up Your Shakespeare,’ ‘Always True to You in My Fashion’ and ‘Too Darn Hot.’
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.
Previous UK productions include Opera North’s award-winning production which ran at the London Coliseum in 2018 and Trevor Nunn’s production starring Hannah Waddingham, Adam Garcia and Clive Rowe, which ran at Chichester Festival Theatre followed by a London transfer to The Old Vic in 2013.
Producer of the show Howard Panter said in a statement: “I’m delighted to be working with Adrian, Stephanie and Bart to bring this classic, hilarious golden-age musical comedy to the Barbican next summer. Cole Porter’s timeless masterpiece has everything you want: it’s fun, infectious and pure entertainment. This, like Anything Goes, will be the perfect summer treat for London audiences this year.”
Adrian Dunbar said: “I’m so delighted to be returning to the stage this Summer to my spiritual home at the Barbican – where I started my career at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama – especially in this Cole Porter classic with the wonderful creative team including Bart Sher and Stephanie J Block. Summer 2024 just got a lot brighter!”
Stephanie J Block said: “Look…when asked to bring a Cole Porter classic to the Barbican stage under the care and vision of Bart Sher, one must say yes! There are so many ‘firsts’ to this opportunity, and at this stage of my career, ‘firsts’ are not the norm. How wonderfully scary and challenging and THRILLING. I cannot wait to dive into this timeless classic and put a fresh stamp on it alongside the incredible Adrian Dunbar. Mark my words, this Kiss Me, Kate will most definitely not be just ‘another openin‘, another show’.”
Toni Racklin, Head of Theatre & Dance at the Barbican, said: “We’re thrilled for this spectacular, brand new production of Kiss Me, Kate, led by its celebrated cast and creative team, to inspire first time and returning audiences this summer. With our welcoming spaces and dramatic architecture, magnificent stage and beautiful auditorium, the Barbican is uniquely suited to presenting what promises to be a dazzling and joyful experience. This exciting collaboration with Trafalgar Entertainment further solidifies the City of London’s position as a leading cultural destination, with the Barbican at the heart of its offer.”
Kiss Me, Kate will run at the Barbican Theatre for 15 weeks from 4 June to 14 September 2024.
Tickets on sale this Friday 19 January at 10am – sign-up to our alerts for details.