Two Cole Porter musical revivals recently seen in London – Kiss Me Kate and High Society - will soon be hitting the road.

The tour recreation of Michael Blakemore's multi award-winning Broadway and West End production of Kiss Me Kate opens on 23 August 2004 at New Wimbledon Theatre before continuing, until 31 December, to Milton Keynes, Birmingham, Stoke, Plymouth, Bromley, Manchester and Edinburgh, with further dates to be announced for 2005.

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-11 September 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 Award for Best Musical Revival. It’s presented on tour by Tristan Baker Productions and CCO Theatre Ltd.

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.

High Society proved a hit in summer 2003 at London’s Open Air Theatre, where it prompted the venue’s first-ever extension of its summer repertory season. Based on Philip Barry's classic stage play The Philadelphia Story, its Porter score includes "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire", "You're Sensational", "True Love" and "Swell Party".

The revival is directed by Open Air artistic director Ian Talbot and, on tour, will feature Coronation Street’s Susie Blake as Mother Lord. It opens at Bromley’s Churchill Theatre on 9 September 2004 before continuing, until 11 December, to Oxford, Woking, Brighton, Southampton, Richmond, Milton Keynes, Dartford, Bradford and Wolverhampton. High Society is presented on tour by Mark Goucher and Adam Kenwright.

- by Terri Paddock