Review Roundup: KISS ME, KATE at the Old Vic - All the Reviews!

Trevor Nunn directs the Old Vic production of Kiss Me, Kate, with Music and lyrics by Cole Porter and Book by Sam and Bella Spewack, which performed in London 20 November.

Choreography is provided by Stephen Mear for a cast that includes Alex Bourne, David Burt, Adam Garcia, Clive Rowe and Hannah Waddingham.

Let's see what the critics had to say:

According to Michael Coveney of, he writes: There’s nothing but pleasure to be had from Trevor Nunn’s staging of Kiss Me Kate, seen earlier this summer at Chichester and now installed as ideal holiday entertainment at the Old Vic.

It’s quite a long evening, nearly three hours, but the stateliness suits the show’s construction and also the deliberation with which FrEd Graham (Alex Bourne) and his company of actors are preparing a try-out performance of a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew one hot summer afternoon in Baltimore.

Charles Spencer of The Telegraph says: Nights at the theatre don't come much more enjoyable than seeing Trevor Nunn’s revival of Kiss Me Kate at the Old Vic.... Hannah Waddingham and Alex Bourne ignite some fizzing on stage chemistry in the leading roles of Lilli Vanessi and FrEd Graham, formerly married troupers who discover that their own private lives are mirrored in the vexed and sometimes brutal relationship depicted in Shakespeare’s comedy.

Fiona Mountford of the Evening Standard writes: Trevor Nunn, presiding over his third major opening in two months, certainly knows his way around a classic musical, having made them a central feature of his tenure at The National Theatre.  He gives us a lengthy but slick show with high production values, although at the preview performance I saw there were some notable dips in energy levels, a niggling problem that also afflicts his other current West End piece, A Chorus of Disapproval.

Dominic Maxwell of The Times writes: How do you solve a problem like The Taming of the Shrew? Like this, ideally... And Trevor Nunn has revived it with relish in a production, first seen this summer at the Chichester Festival Theatre, that purrs satisfyingly as it goes through each of its different gears: from farce to show-within-a-show spectacle, from pathos to tap-dancing... 

Matthew Tucker of the Huffington Post says:  Bourne's intuitive comic timing keeps the plot tapping along at a finger-clicking pace, as he quite literally tames the shrew. The leading man's Clark Gable demeanour complements Waddington's Hepburn spirit - channeling two Hollywood icons on the Old Vic's legendary stage.

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