Michael Blakemore's multi award-winning Broadway revival of Cole Porter's Kiss Me Kate will close five months early at the West End's Victoria Palace Theatre. A five-month extension, announced in April, that would take bookings up to 1 March 2003 has now been scrapped as have plans to recruit a new all-British company.

Instead, the production will close on 24 August 2002, at the end of the contracts for its three original Broadway stars - Brent Barrett, Nancy Anderson and Michael Beresse. Plans are now underway to launch a newly cast, UK-wide tour.

The multi award-winning Broadway production, directed by Michael Blakemore, opened on 30 October 2001 (previews from 16 October) in London, where its accolades have included nine Laurence Olivier nominations, the Evening Standard and Critics' Circle awards for Best Musical and the Whatsonstage.com Award for Best Musical Revival.

Blakemore's revival of Cole Porter's 1948 classic first opened in November 1999 at New York's Martin Beck Theatre, where it won five Tony Awards, six Drama Desk Awards and four Outer Critics' Circle Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical in all three. The British Blakemore won both the Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Direction of a Musical.

Scenic design is by Robin Wagner, costume design by Martin Pakledinaz, lighting design by Peter Kaczorowski, sound by Tony Meola, orchestrations by Don Sebesky and dance arrangements by David Chase. The musical direction is by Paul Gemignani and choreography by Kathleen Marshall. In addition to Barrett, Anderson and Beresse, the cast now includes Rachel York, who followed fellow Americans Marin Mazzie and Carolee Carmello into the role of Lili Vanessi/Kate.

The London production of Kiss Me Kate is presented by its Broadway producers, Roger Berlind and Roger Horchow, with Nica Burns as associate producer.

- by Terri Paddock