Prior's Field September 2018

Brush Up Your Shakespeare With Kiss Me Kate

Published Wednesday 19th of March 2014 11:35:53 AM

Last week, Oundle School�s Director of Music, Quentin Thomas made his stage musical debut at Oundle with Kiss Me Kate, while for Ali Boag, the show about putting on a show was his final production at Oundle after eight years as Director of The Stahl Theatre in Oundle.

In the 50th anniversary year, Cole Porter's songbook remains a favourite for theatre goers, who were not disappointed by the calibre of the talented cast of pupil performers on stage, or the accompanying orchestra that played live from the pit.

Sarah Boyle's (15) opening solo �Another Op'nin, Another Show� set the standard for what was to be an immensely entertaining evening.

Mimi Monteith (17) was a stunning Lilli Vanessi, and packed a punch as the feisty shrew of Shakespeare's Katherine, shifting gracefully from romantic melodies to the spitting fury of �I Hate Men�. Harry Hickey (17), her vexing leading man, was very smooth in a number of accomplished solos.
In a supporting role, Kirsty Ross-Stewart (17) was the glamorous nightclub singer Lois Lane, fielding numerous Tom, Dick and Harrys, including fellow supporting player Ali Mason (16), a seductive, gambling cad, whose relationship is summed up in the equivocal, �True To You in My Fashion�.

George Cobb (15) opened the second act with the famous finger-snapping jazz show tune, �It's too Darn Hot�, leading a fine ensemble choreographed by Molly-May Keston (15).

Hugo Beazley (16) and Ed Ashton-Johnson (17) played the gangster characters sent to collect an I.O.U., and found themselves doing time as Shakespearean extras, stealing a few scenes as the comedic duo.

Theatre Manger, Ali Dean's set of large folding panels neatly delineated the off and onstage scenes, and Wardrobe Manger, Jo Henderson displayed her versatility, outfitting actors for both the 1940s and Elizabethan period with exacting detail and creativity.

Ali Boag commented, �Above everything, of course, Kiss Me Kate is fun � as much fun as I have had with this and with every company I have directed at Oundle. This production is for all of them with my admiration and my endless thanks.�
Quentin added, �Kiss me Kate is absorbing on so many levels: plays within plays; the pacing and offsetting of emotions as sincerity is followed by the seemingly banal; the sheer demands made on the actors and musicians � it is a complex beast to stage! It has been a joy working with this wonderful cast, band and production team.�
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