News: Adrian Dunbar to make musicals debut with Stephanie J Block in Kiss Me Kate

One of the all-time classic musical comedy farces, Kiss Me, Kate is making a long awaited return to
the London stage this summer for a strictly limited 15-week season at the Barbican Theatre, starring
the multi-award-winning Adrian Dunbar (Ridley, Line of Duty) making his musical theatre debut as
Fred Graham / Petruchio and Broadway musical superstar and Tony Award winner Stephanie J.
(Into The Woods, The Cher Show, 9 To 5) making her West End debut as Lilli Vanessi /

From the producer of the smash hit musical Anything Goes and A Strange Loop (both staged at the
Barbican), comes this majestic new production of Cole Porter’s musical masterpiece, premiering at
the Barbican Theatre on 4 June 2024 (Press Night 18 June) until 14 September. Tickets go on general
sale on Friday January 19 at 10.00am from

With music and lyrics by Cole Porter and the original book by Bella & Samuel Spewack, this
magnificent new production, directed by Bartlett Sher (The King and I, South Pacific and To Kill A
), promises a symphony of wit, charm and musical brilliance for London audiences next
year. Joining the dynamic creative team is renowned choreographer Anthony Van Laast, accomplished costume designer Catherine Zuber and leading set designer Michael Yeargan. This all- star creative team have collectively earned a remarkable 20 Tony awards. With a company of over
50, including a full-scale orchestra, and featuring Cole Porter classics such as ‘Another Op’nin’,
Another Show’, ‘Brush Up Your Shakespeare’, ‘Tom, Dick or Harry’ and ‘It’s Too Darn Hot’, Kiss Me, Kate is the perfect musical spectacle for 2024.

Producer Howard Panter said: “I’m delighted to be working with Adrian, Stephanie and Bart to bring
this classic, hilarious golden-age musical comedy to the Barbican this summer. Cole Porter’s timeless
masterpiece has everything you want: it’s fun, infectious and pure entertainment. This, like Anything
Goes, will be the perfect summer treat for London audiences this year.”

Adrian Dunbar said: “I’m so delighted to be returning to the stage this summer to my spiritual home
at the Barbican – where I started my career at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama – especially
in this Cole Porter classic with the wonderful creative team including Bart Sher and Stephanie J.
Block.  Summer 2024 just got a lot brighter!”   

Stephanie J. Block said: “Look…when asked to bring a Cole Porter classic to the Barbican stage under
the care and vision of Bart Sher, one must say yes! There are so many ‘firsts’ to this opportunity, and
at this stage of my career, ‘firsts’ are not the norm. How wonderfully scary and challenging and
THRILLING. I cannot wait to dive into this timeless classic and put a fresh stamp on it alongside the
incredible Adrian Dunbar. Mark my words, this Kiss Me, Kate will most definitely not be just
‘another openin’, another show’.”

Toni Racklin, Head of Theatre & Dance at the Barbican, said: “We’re thrilled for this spectacular,
brand new production of Kiss Me, Kate, led by its celebrated cast and creative team, to inspire first
time and returning audiences this summer. With our welcoming spaces and dramatic architecture,
magnificent stage and beautiful auditorium, the Barbican is uniquely suited to presenting what
promises to be a dazzling and joyful experience. This exciting collaboration with Trafalgar
Entertainment further solidifies the City of London’s position as a leading cultural destination, with
the Barbican at the heart of its offer.”

This musical farce which brilliantly showcases Cole Porter’s razor-sharp wit, has won Best Musical at
the Tony Awards. It’s a sophisticated, ferociously funny, show within a show – which whisks you into a world of backstage chaos and romantic entanglements as a theatre company attempt to put on a
production of Shakespeare’s ‘The Taming of the Shrew’. The battle of the sexes takes centre stage as
former spouses feud, only to find the off-stage antics rival the drama on-stage. Throw in a number of
cases of mistaken identity, confused love, gangsters and a spectacular tap routine and you get KISS
– which will soon bring unabashed joy to audiences.

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