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Kiss Me, Kate

  • Theatre, Musicals
  • Barbican Centre, Barbican
Adrian Dunbar,  Kiss Me, Kate, Barbican, 2024
Photo: Barbican

Time Out says

‘Line of Duty’ legend Adrian Dunbar stars in the classic musical

For the Barbican’s next big summer musical – very much a tradition of the iconic arts centre in the post-pandemic era – ‘Line of Duty’ legend Adrian Dunbar will be showing a whole new side to himself as he takes on the lead role of Fred Graham in ‘Kiss Me, Kate’, Cole Porter’s beloved musical rewrite of Shakespeare’s ‘Taming of the Shrew’. He’ll star opposite Broadway veteran Stephanie J Block’s Lilli Vanessi in a new production from US musical theatre grandee Bartlett Sher.

After last year’s leftfield ‘A Strange Loop’, this is a return to the good time, golden age of musicals vibes of ‘Anything Goes’, which ran in 2021 and 2022. It’ll be interesting to see if Sher carries it off: Porter’s musical about a fractious theatre company attempting to stage Shakespeare’s ‘Shrew’ felt pretty dated last time it was seen in London in 2017, but this is a fancier affair, and certainly ‘Anything Goes’ felt like it rose to the challenge of the source material’s obvious datedness.

Whatever the case, seeing Dunbar – known to the nation as terminally quotable superintendent Ted Hastings in ‘Line of Duty’ – flex his singing chops in public for the first time should be a real treat.

The older top names will be joined by younger heavyweight Charlie Stemp and rising star Georgina Onuorah, who was cast as lead in last year’s revival of ‘The Wizard of Oz’.

Andrzej Lukowski
Written by
Andrzej Lukowski


Barbican Centre
Beech Street
View Website
Tube: Barbican; Rail/Tube: Moorgate
from £29.50. Runs 2hr 40min

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