Great St Mary's Church
3 stars

Kiss Me Kate? More of a peck really. After hobbling up a creaky wooden staircase, and climbing through an array of funky navy-blue choir gowns, I found myself in a pew, peering down at a vibrant and eager to please eighteen-man cast complete with jazz hands...in Great St. Mary's Church. It was then I realised this was to be no conventional Cambridge musical.

Kiss Me Kate was Cole Porter's response to Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! The play combines The Taming of the Shrew with Porter's music and lyrics to result in a Broadway treasure. This production, however, is more like a little golden nugget.
The acoustics are poor, and some of the songs are a little out of tune and lacking in volume - Too Damn Hot is more of a sizzle than a bang, and Brush Up Your Shakespeare could be turned up. The stage is lacking in space, and the overall production ias missing a certain pzazz. But the production should not be that easily dismissed, and it has much to commend it.

Although the acting is more than a little shakey at times, both the male counterparts Fred/Petruchio (Tom Cane) and Bill/Lucentio (Luke Aylward) consistently sing and perform well. The comedy duo, who look like they could have been stolen from the cast of Bugsy Malone, offer light refreshment too. But for me it was Mary (Ellen Lynall) holds the show together.

This play may not sweep you off your feet, but it still remains a pleasant experience. The leads are strong, the eagerness of the chorus is charming, and if anything the novelty of seeing Kiss Me Kate performed next to an altar is enticing. Whilst this play is no epiphany, it's certainly worth going to see.

Alana Hutton-Shaw

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