Kiss Me Kate - Hans Christian Andersen

Kiss Me Kate

The Synopsis

Kiss Me Kate is a light, literate & lovely backstage fable. It tells the tale of an egocentric, fabulously flamboyant, but recently divorced couple, Fred Graham & Lilli Vanessi, who have been reunited to co-star in a musical version of “The Taming Of The Shrew”. The uneven course of their reunion off-stage is paralleled by the stormy plot of the Shakespearian comedy on-stage. In The Shrew, Fred plays Petruchio, an adventurer who has arrived in Padua to wed the formidable spinster, Katherine, played by Lilli. As Petruchio tames the wild Kate, Fred manages to rekindle the old flame that once burned for him & Lilli.

Meanwhile, Fred has cast his latest girlfriend, nightclub cutie Lois Lane, as Kate’s younger sister, Bianca. Lois is desperate to make the big time on Broadway & to be recognised as a ‘serious’ performer. She will do almost anything to get her name in the lights. However, it becomes clear that Lois is fated not for Fred, but for Bill Calhoun, the unreliable, but charming hoofer who gambles too much.

To add to the mayhem backstage, two comic gangsters arrive. They intend to “encourage” Fred to pay a large IOU, to which Bill has falsely signed Fred’s name. They become caught in the middle of Lilli’s temper tantrums & her demands to have her new fiancée, the shows financial backer, Harrison Howell brought to her. Before the thugs leave, they too are temporarily drafted into show business.

Despite all the back-stage drama, the show still goes on in true musical comedy fashion and, as always, a happy ending is assured.

The Production Team

Director – Patricia Rafter

Choreographer – Michelle Millgate

Musical Director – Julie Blewitt

Rehearsal Pianist – Helen Short

The Cast

Suzanne Reed (Lilli Vanessi/Katherine), Gordon Ball (Fred Graham/Petruchio), Sonja Curran (Lois Lane/Bianca), Scott Evans (Bill Calhoun/Lucentio), Greg May (Gangster), Don Donaldson (Gangster), Warren Fisher (Hortensio), Paul Newton (Gremio/Rick), Ross Clarke (Paul), Samantha Cordwell (Hattie), Brian Watkins (Ralph), John Trainor (Harry Trevor/Baptista), John Guthrie (Harrison Howell III), Andrew Austin, Julie Aubert, Samantha Black, Lynne Chester, Robyn Goldman, Judy Kennedy, Anne Kitto, Rosslyn Lindsay, Priscilla Norris, Beth Pilley, Graeme Polson, Shari Roswell, Holly Roberts, Jenny Rixon, Jim Simmons, Betty Tougher, Helen Willis, Greg Wood, Anne Warren

Hans Christian Anderson

The Synopsis

The year is 1830 & the Town Council of Odense, Denmark, decides to banish Hans Christian Anderson from the town. It appears the villagers are angry because Hans spends too much time telling his stories to the children thus keeping them late for their lessons. Bewildered by all this, Hans sets out with his young apprentice, Peter, to seek his fortune in Copenhagen. On arrival they meet up with The Royal Danish Ballet Company. Upon hearing that Hans is a talented cobbler, the Company Manager asks him to make the ballet slippers for their ballerina, Madam Doro. Doro is married to Niels, a very temperamental young man who is also the Ballet Director. Hans falls instantly in love with the beautiful Doro, & observing the fiery relationship she has with Niels, Hans imagines her to be very unhappy. He writes Doro a love letter in the form of a fairy tale & when she reads it she recognises the tale to be a story line for a beautiful ballet.

The Ballet Company leaves for the National tour & to ease his loneliness whilst they are away, Hans continues to write his stories. The newspaper editor comes to hear of him & publishes some of his fairy tales. When the Ballet Company returns Hans is delighted to learn that a ballet called “The Little Mermaid”, based on the love story he wrote to Doro, has been created. Through the ballet, Doro realises that Hans is in love with her. She finds it difficult, but necessary, to explain to him that, although they quarrel constantly in their professional life, she does indeed love her husband very much.

Hans, broken-hearted, leaves Copenhagen & returns home to Odense. There, he takes heart when he finds he has been greatly missed & is loved by all, not only as Hans ‘the Cobbler’, but as Hans Christian Anderson, the world famous poet & storyteller.

The Production Team

Directors – Robert Neill & Anne Warren

Choreographer – Jenny Rixon

Musical Directors – Stephen Gray & Mark Zadro

The Cast

Scott Evans (Hans), Mark Baines (Peter), Kate Inwood (Madam Doro), Paul Wright (Niels), Ken Randall (Truis), Keith Gorman (Otto), Brian Watkins (Editor Holm), Helen Fawcett (Schoolmistress), Robert Lashmore (Burgomaster), Jim Simmons (Mr Olsen/Policeman), Greg Wood (Dr Foss), Rosslyn Lindsay (Mrs Pfeiffer), Judy Kennedy (Celine), Bronwyn McDonald (Madam Inge), Robyn Goldman (Mrs Olsen), Sue Justice (Mrs Holm), Anne Kitto (Mrs Hofgaard), Priscilla Norris (Mrs Arboe), Tim Baines (Lars), Julie Aubert, Samantha Black, Marion Cunningham, Janelle Ingles, Sue Jones, Ian MacFarlane, Rosemary Nipperess, Michelle Stringer, Georgina Becket, Anthony Chester, Greg Collins, Nicole Cunningham, Zoe Fielding, Michaela Hodgson, Kristy Hughes, Clair Lindsay, Jessica Maxwell, Tammy Norris, Adam Rixon, Betty Tougher, Diana Davies, Jenny Dalton