See Who's Joining Stephanie J. Block in London Kiss Me, Kate | Playbill

London News See Who's Joining Stephanie J. Block in London Kiss Me, Kate

Bartlett Sher is directing the new revival of the Cole Porter musical at the Barbican Theatre.

Stephanie J. Block

Full casting has been revealed for the upcoming London revival of Kiss Me, Kate, set to play the Barbican Theatre beginning June 4 and officially opening June 18. The limited engagement will continue through September 14. Tony winner Bartlett Sher is at the helm.

As previously announced, the cast will be led by Tony winner Stephanie J. Block as Lilli Vanessi and Katharine, Adrian Dunbar as Fred Graham and Petruchio, Charlie Stemp (Crazy for You; Hello, Dolly!) as Bill Calhoun and Lucentio, and Georgina Onuorah (Oklahoma!) as Lois Lane and Bianca.

Newly joining them will be Josie Benson as Hattie, Jack Butterworth as Paul, Jude Owusu as Harry Trevor and Baptista, Carl Au as Hortensio, Jordan Crouch as Gremio, Gary Milner as Ralph, and James Hume as Pops, along with Alisha Capon, Shani Cator, Maya de Faria, Amelia Kinu Muus, Jacqui Jameson, Lucas Koch, Alex Lodge, Nell Martin, Anna McGarahan, John Stacey and Harrison Wilde. Swings are Robin Kent, Barry Drummond, Emily Goodenough, and Maddie Harper.

With music and lyrics by Cole Porter and a book by Sam and Bella Spewack, Kiss Me, Kate is a meta adaptation of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, following the contentious but ultimately romantic connection between actors Fred and Lilli offstage as they're appearing in a touring production of the Shakespeare classic onstage. Porter's score introduced such favorites as "Another Op'nin', Another Show," "Why Can't You Behave?," "So in Love," "I Hate Men," "Too Darn Hot," "Always True to You in My Fashion," "Brush Up Your Shakespeare," and others.

The musical premiered on Broadway in 1948, becoming a smash hit and spawning a 1953 film adaptation and several television productions in the U.S. and U.K. The show has since become a favorite to revive on the Main Stem, with heavily revised versions hitting the stage in 1999 and 2019. London's West End has been a welcome home for the work, too, with 1970, 2001, and 2012 revivals following the 1951 premiere.

Sher is directing the revival after making a name for himself helming splashy revivals of classic musicals on Broadway, including South Pacific (for which he won a Tony Award), The King and I, My Fair Lady, Camelot, Fiddler on the Roof, and others. The London revival will be Sher's first major staging of the Porter classic.

Joining Sher on the creative team will be choreographer Anthony Van Laast, costume designer Catherine Zuber, scenic designer Michael Yeargan, lighting designer Donald Holder, sound designer Adam Fisher, and music supervisor Stephen Ridley.

Harold Panter is producing for Trafalgar Theatre Productions in association with Barbican Theatre.


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