Update: Kiss Me Kate Cancels Final UK Tour DatesDate: 18 April 2005
UPDATED, 19 April 2005 @ 1.00pm: A comment from the show producer has now been added to this story.
Kiss Me Kate, which was due to start a week’s performances tomorrow night at the Liverpool Empire, has been pulled.
The tour recreation of Michael Blakemore's multi award-winning Broadway and West End production first hit the road last August with the 2005 leg kicking off in mid-February. Company members were told after Saturday evening’s final performance at the Cardiff Millennium Centre that the tour was stopping. It was due to continue, until 16 July, to Liverpool, Leeds, Hull, Bristol, Eastbourne, Glasgow and Canterbury.
Producer Tristan Baker - who is also currently touring the new pop compilation musical Love Shack, featuring pop stars Jon Lee, Faye Tozer and Noel Sullivan which is due at Birmingham’s Alexandra Theatre next week – has issued the following statement to Whatsonstage.com.
"The producers of Kiss Me Kate regret to announce that the UK tour closed on Saturday 16 April 2005 after a run of nine months. This has been a fantastic production with an exceptionally talented cast and company that have been critically acclaimed by press and audiences up and down the country. However, this has failed to translate into the necessary box office levels to keep a show of this size on the road."
In October 2001, Blakemore's revival of the 1948 backstage musical comedy, inspired by Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, transferred triumphantly from a post-9/11 Broadway to the West End’s Victoria Palace, where it closed in August 2002. In addition to nine Olivier nominations, the UK production won the Evening Standard and Critics' Circle awards for Best Musical and the Whatsonstage.com Award for Best Musical Revival.
Considered by many to be Porter’s masterpiece, Kiss Me Kate’s many classic songs include “Another Op’nin, Another Show”, “So in Love”, “Too Darn Hot”, “Wunderbar”, “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” and the title song. On the UK tour, Petra Siniawski directed the cast which latterly featured Craig Urbani as Fred Graham/Petruchio and Julie-Alanah Brighten as Lili Vanessi/Kate.
- by Terri Paddock