Trevor Nunn to Direct Cole Porter's KISS ME, KATE at Chichester Festival and Old Vic from June


Trevor Nunn will direct the Old Vic and Chichester Festival Theatre's production of KISS ME, KATE, with Music and lyrics by Cole Porter and Book by Sam and Bella Spewack, which is scheduled for London performances from the 20th of November and a Chichester premiere in June.

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

Kiss Me, Kate opens at Chichester Festival Theatre on 27 June and at The Old Vic on 3 December.

Featuring music and lyrics by Cole Porter with book by Sam and Bella Spewack, Kiss Me, Kate is an exuberant show-within-a-show, bringing together the worlds of gun-toting gangsters, sparring actors and Shakespeare’s original characters from The Taming of the Shrew.

Cole Porter’s dazzling score is shot through with wit, charm and Broadway energy; it includes Too Darn Hot, Brush Up Your Shakespeare, Another Op’nin’, Another Show, So In Love Am I and Always True To You (In My Fashion).

This co-production of Kiss Me, Kate reunites The Old Vic and Chichester Festival Theatre to celebrate the historic partnership initiated by Laurence Olivier between the two theatres in this, Chichester’s 50th anniversary year.

Alex Bourne will play FrEd Graham/Petruchio. His theatre credits include West End productions of We Will Rock You, Chicago, Grease, Beauty and the Beast, Only the Lonely and Showboat (RSC and Opera North) as well as the national tour of The Rocky Horror Show.

David Burt will play Gangster 1. His theatre credits include the West End productions of Crazy for You, The Woman in White, the title role in Edmund Kean, for which he received an Evening Standard Award nomination, the original RSC and West End production of Les Misérables, Cats, Evita and La Traviata (Donmar Warehouse), for which he received an Olivier Award nomination. Other credits include The Merchant of Venice, Candide and Troilus and Cressida (all for The National Theatre) and The Beggar’s Opera (RSC) for which he received an Olivier Award nomination.

Adam Garcia will play Bill Calhoun/Lucentio. His theatre credits include West End productions of Grease, Saturday Night Fever (in which he played the central character of Tony Manero), Wicked and Tap Dogs. He was recently a judge on Television’s Got to Dance; other screen credits include Britannia High, Wilde, Coyote Ugly and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.

Clive Rowe will play Gangster 2. His theatre credits include the role of One Round in the recent West End production of The Ladykillers, West End productions of The Fantasticks and Chicago, Twelfth Night, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Troilus and Cressida (Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park), Caroline, or Change, Candide and Peter Pan (all for The National Theatre), Guys and Dolls at The National Theatre, for which he received an Olivier Award, Carousel at The National Theatre, for which he received an Olivier Award nomination, Measure for Measure and Twelfth Night for the RSC, and Carmen Jones at The Old Vic. Rowe’s credits also include numerous acclaimed performances as a Dame in pantomimes at the Hackney Empire, and his role in the popular children’s BBC TV drama series Tracy Beaker.

Hannah Waddingham will play Lilli Vanessi/Kate: Her theatre credits include the West End producton of The Wizard of Oz for which she received the 2012 Whatsontage Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical, Into the Woods (Open Air Theatre Regent’s Park), A Little Night Music (Menier Chocolate Factory and West End) and Spamalot (Broadway and West End), receiving Olivier Award nominations for both productions, as well as West End productions of Grease, The Beautiful Game, for which she received a Critics’ Circle Award nomination, and Lautrec.

Trevor Nunn has been Artistic Director of both the Royal Shakespeare Company and The National Theatre. He has directed some of the most critically acclaimed and popular musical and Shakespearean productions in recent decades. His musical credits include Porgy and Bess, My Fair Lady, Anything Goes, The Woman in White, Les Misérables, Starlight Express and Cats. Other theatre credits include Flare Path, Rock ‘n’ Roll, King Lear, Hamlet and Macbeth. He has directed Richard II and Inherit the Wind for The Old Vic and his Chichester credits are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which transferred to the West End in 2011, and Cyrano de Bergerac.

Stephen Mear has choreographed She Loves Me (which he also directed), The Music Man, Funny Girl and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying for Chichester. His West End credits include Mary Poppins, Hello, Dolly! and Crazy For You. Mear worked with Trevor Nunn on The National Theatre’s 2002 production of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes which transferred for an extended West End run.

The London performances are slated for Tue 20 Nov 2012 – Sat 2 Mar 2013, with opening night on the 1st of December. Performances are Mon–Sat 7.30pm; Wed & Sat 2.30pm, with no matinee performance on Wed 21 Nov, no evening performances on Mon 24 December or Mon 31 December, and no performances on Tue 25 December or Tue 1 January. There are extra matinees at 2.30pm on Mon 24 December, Fri 28 December, Sun 30 December & Mon 31 December.

Tickets range from £11 to £58 with concessions available from

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