Kiss Me Kate

Louise Gold starred as Lilli Vanessi/Kate in The New Shakespeare Company Production, at Regents Park Open Air Theatre from 24 July to 1 September 1997



Fred Graham/Petruchio - Andrew C Wadsworth

Harry Trevor/Baptista - John Griffiths

Lois Lane/ Bianca - Issy Van Randwyck

Lilli Vanessi/Kate - Louise Gold

Hattie - Debby Bishop

Stage Doorman - Tony Whittle

Paul - Gary Bryden

Bill Calhoun.Lucentio - Graeme Henderson

First Gangster - Gavin Muir

Second Gangster - Rob Edwards

Harrison Howell - Jonathan Elsom

Gremio - Paul Bentley

Ralph/Hortensio - Paul Thornley

Haberdasher - Oliver Jackson

Cab Driver - Jonathan Elsom

Petruchio's Servants: Adam Sims, Ian Sanders, Tony Whittle, Rebecca Hartley, Alexandra Sumner and Lucy Quick

Messengers: Oliver Jackson and Simon Penman

Chauffer - Ian Sanders

Other parts played by members of the company.


Production Team

Music/Lyrics - Cole Porter

Book - Bella and Samuel Spewack

Based on "The Taming Of The Shrew" by William Shakespeare

Original Production – 30 December 1948, New Century Theatre, New York, with Patricia Morrison as Lilli Vanessi/Kate

Director - Ian Talbot

Designer - Paul Farnsworth

Musical Director - Catherine Jayes

Choreographer - Lisa Kent

Lighting Designer - Jason Taylor

Sound Designer - Simon Whitehorn

Dialect Coach - Charmian Hoare

Assistant Director - Pete Harris

Music Arranged by - Steve Edis and Catherine Jayes

Sound System -Orbital


For a full review please click here.

For "Another Opening…" - a light-hearted collection of facts, observations and comments about the production, please click here.

6 years after starring in The Boys From Syracuse and A Midsummer Night's Dream, and immediately after a spell in The Royal Shakespeare Company, Louise Gold returned to The New Shakespeare Company at The Regents Park Open Air Theatre, to star in Kiss Me Kate.

Kiss Me Kate was presented in repertory with A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Alls Well That Ends Well, the actual dates of the performances were: Previews from 22 and 23 July 1997. Performances (scheduled): 24 to 29 July, 7 to 14 August, and 26 August to 1 September 1997.

It is known that on Saturday 16 August 1997 some members of The New Shakespeare Company, accompanied by musical director Catherine Jayes performed a ‘Cabaret In The Park’, but it is not known which members of the company took part (nor if Louise Gold could have been among them, it is possible, but not very likely since Kiss Me Kate was not playing that day).

Five years later Issy Van Randwyck, Paul Bentley, Graeme Henderson, and, Paul Thornley reprised their performance of Tom Dick And Harry, while Andrew C Wardsworth reprised his performance of Where Is The Life That Late I Lead in Regents Park 70th Anniversary Gala This occasion also featured: Louise Gold, Rebecca Hartley, Lucy Quick, and, Ian Talbot, with musical direction by Catherine Jayes, and contributions from Steven Edis and Lisa Kent.

Designer Paul Farnsworth had previously designed Calamity Jane at The Leicester Haymarket. He also designed A Midsummer Night's Dream 6 years earlier for the NSC. Certainly for the two NSC shows (and quite possibly Calamity Jane too) he managed to make his programme sketch drawing of Louise's character look uncannily like the actress herself.

Louise Gold and Issy Van Randyck had previously appeared together in the Lost Musicals productions of Love Life and  By Jupiter.

Louise Gold and  Ian Sanders had previously appeared in The Lost Musical’s production of  Cole Porter’s Panama Hattie.

Issy Van Randwyck, and various other members of the cast, including Louise Gold, appeared in the charity show Hot ‘n’ Spicy 2

Issy Van Randwyck’s recording credits include: Encore The Very Best From The Musicals , Cole Porter - Night And Day, The History Of The Musical, and, The Great Musicals – Laughter And Tears.

Louise Gold has appeared in quite a number of Cole Porter musicals, besides Kiss Me Kate, she has also appeared in the Ethel Merman quintet of shows: Anything Goes, Red Hot & Blue, Du Barry Was A Lady (see: Du Barry Was A Lady (1993 Production) and Du Barry Was A Lady (2001 Production)), Panama Hattie, and, Something For The Boys, she has also appeared in Noel/Cole: Let’s Do It, and, Mexican Hayride. However, she has made all too few recordings, the only albums of her singing Cole Porter are Noel/Cole: Let’s Do It (Recording), and the JAY/TER studio cast album of Anything Goes (recording) - Website Recommended Album.

Unfortunately the opening night was rained off, for only the second time in this Open Air theatre's entire 43 year history.

The Show received 3 Olivier Nominations, but did not win any, they were: The Show itself for Best Musical Revival, Andrew C Wadsworth for Best Actor In A Musical, and, Issy Van Randwyck for Best Supporting Actress In A Musical. But the leading lady was left out.

Five years later Louise Gold performed her own act cabaret “Louise Gold Sings Some Nice Songs”   at the Hampstead & Highgate Arts Festival Cabaret Special, as a last minute replacement for Issy Van Randwyck.

Louise Gold and Paul Bentley had previous appeared together in Assassins, they went on to appear on the radio on Ned Sherrin’s Review Of Revue.

Louise Gold and Paul Bentley have also gone on to appear together in Follies , which was also designed by Paul Fransworth

Issy Van Randwyck went on to appear at Dress Circle Grand Reopening

Orbital went on to do the sound systems for Noises Off, Side By Side By Sondheim 30th Anniversary Gala, and, A Love Letter To Dan.

Rob Edwards went on to appear on television in A Week In The West End, where he was shown performing in The Lion King.

Ian Talbot had previously directed Dear Ralph. He went on to take part in Shopping With The Stars 2009.

Paul Bentley and Louise Gold have gone on to appear together in Mary Poppins

Issy Van Randwyck, and, Ian Talbot went on to take part in Shopping With The Stars 2008.

Debby Bishop may have previously taken part in Thing A Thon.

Paul Bentley, and, Issy Van Randwyck’s recording credits include 100 Hits Musicals.


Critics Comments

 "Her Lilli threw in some splendid adlibs, cussing the rain rather than the heat as she struggled into costume in her aquatic dressing room." Kate Bassett, DAILY TELEGRAPH, 26 July 1997

 “Brush up your Shakespeare with Cole Porter's tremendous backstage musical comedy about a touring company in The Taming of The Shrew. Louise Gold knocks 'em dead.” David Benedict, CUTAIN CALLS in THE INDEPENDENT, Saturday 9 August 1997.

 "As the commanding shrew, Louise Gold has the roar of a wounded dragon" Georgina Brown, MAIL ON SUNDAY, 10 August 1997

 "Louise Gold is outstanding as Lilli Vanessi, the actress who plays Katherine: as good at the mock-operatic bits as the fierce indictment of men" Robert Butler, INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY, 3 August 1997

 "Louise Gold as Lilli Vanessi/Katherine was beautifully disdainful - and golden voiced in 'So In Love Am I' " Susannah Clapp, OBSERVER, 27 July 1997

  "Louise Gold and Andrew C Wadsworth,- strike an ideal balance between surface bravura and emotional warmth" Michael Coveney, DAILY MAIL, 1 August 1997

 "Andrew C Wadsworth plays- Fred Graham and Louise Gold Lilli Vanessi. - the acrimonious chemistry between the two works well. - Gold meanwhile is excellent, pouring feeling into So In Love and comic venom into I Hate Men. - The comic Laurels are stolen by Wadsworth and Gold, and the musical plaudits belong to Gold alone." Nick Curtis, EVENING STANDARD, 30 July 1997

 "Louise Gold, as his ex-wife Lilli Vanessi, sings more than sweetly and invests a good deal of spirited playing in the role" Michael Darvell, WHAT'S ON, 13 August 1997

 "Cole Porter is on sensational form and gets a cast to match. Louise Gold rises gamely to his challenge of the egotistical star Lilli." Robert Gore-Langton, EXPRESS, 31 July 1997

 "Louise Gold had given a powerful rendition of So In Love Am I, and in conjunction with Andrew C Wadsworth, a hilarious one of Wunderbar." John Gross, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH, 27 July 1997

 "We saw and heard enough of Ms Gold, who sings beautifully, Andres C Wadsworth the suave leading man, and the bubbly Issy Van Randwyck, to know it will take thunder, lightning and probably a snowstorm to sink Ian Talbot's sunny production" Bill Hagerty, NEWS OF THE WORLD, 27 July 1997

 "Louise Gold is his staturesque Katherine, who brings the house down with I Hate Men" Robert Hewison, SUNDAY TIMES, 3 August 1997

 "Andrew C Wadsworth as Fred/Petruchio and Louise Gold as Lilli/Katherine led the cast with well-timed comic performances, - she conveying contemptuous dislike and searing lust in one look. Both are old hands at putting a good song across." Jane Holly, MUSICAL STAGES, Autumn 1997

 "Good voices coupled with good acting are the two boons of this production. - Feisty Katherine (Louise Gold) goes from winsomely romantic in So In Love Am I to elegantly snarling fury in I Hate Men." Sam Jones, CAMDEN NEW JOURNAL, 31 July 1997

 "Louise Gold's Kate is magnificently full-blooded and affectedly feline." Patrick Marmion, TIME OUT, 30 July 1997

 "Louise Gold and Andrew C Wadsworth could tighten up their comic timing, but they regularly shine in their solo numbers." Lisa Martland, THE STAGE,

 Louise Gold is a wonderfully feisty Kate" Sheridan Morley, SPECTATOR, 2 August 1997

 "Louise Gold, as Kate/Lilli, can act, is handsome and sings wonderfully well;" David Nathan, JEWISH CHRONICLE, 15 August 1997

 "On swaggered Gold in her role as Katherine, looking and sounding tremendous…." Benedict Nightingale, THE TIMES, 26 July 1997

 “Gold is a suitably icy and formidable Lilli.” Terri Paddock,, July 1997

 "Louise Gold is a comically commanding figure - outdoing herself in campy gorge-rising revulsion and contentious, drop-dead postures on each successive verse of "I Hate Men". This is one of the most brilliant Broadway scores ever written and it is delivered here by performers who really know how to pace the song. - They can quote me" Paul Taylor, INDEPENDENT, 31 July 1997

 "Gold gets raucous vocal support from the women in the audience in her venomous performance of "I Hate Men". There was also more sparky dueling between the majestic Ms Gold and the bouncy Issy Van Randwyck." Anthony Thorncroft, FINANCIAL TIMES, 1 August 1997

 "I do not think there has been a better and funnier rendition of I Hate Men - then that of Louise Gold who ha all the passion of Kate and yet manages to retain the sweetness and humour without which the character could not be borne. Ms Gold, in danger of being known as The English Ethel Merman, has added a new dimension to her work, learning to control her powerful voice and revealing a soprano range which is precise and electrifying: sensual in So In Love and operatic in the comic number Wunderbar" Aline Waites PLAYS AND PLAYERS, October 1997


Links about Kiss Me Kate

Muppet Central/Tibby's Bowl Interview with Louise Gold

Review from The International Herald Tribune, by Sheridan Morley:

Summary  Review Extracts on Abermule: 

More Extracts from Abermule: review:

Dress Circle Interview with Issy Van  Randwyck:

Comments in Musical Mole’s Bullietin Burrow: on the matter of unfairness in the Oliver Awards, and overlooked actresses

Ian Sander’s Homepage: lists the show and his part in it.

Regents Park Theatre History (details of a fairly comprehensive book by David Corville):

A review, by Emma Shane, of seeing Andrew C Wadsworth in The Lady Or The Tiger:

The Independent’s Curtain Calls (theatre round up): - includes a mention of the show.


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