“Kiss Me, Kate” at Chichester
This is quite the show Billington, Purves, Letts and several others have noted. I only note that the musicals (both the Cole Porter show and the cod Broadway show he invents and parodies) are all the more beautiful because they take us closer to the sexual politics which Shakespeare’s Shrew look at. I mean that the Cole Porter/Spewak trumps, explains, elucidates, humanises Shakespeare in unexpected way. This is God standing up for the vulgar. And it is worth pointing out that Hannah Waddingham is so womanly and Alex Bourne is so masculine that one throughly believes they come to a rich accord by the end of the show. People may resist the degree of Lilli’s very public submission to Fred, but on the other hand he has been brought to heel in a much larger way. He has to give up his fantasies about bimboes as providing serious satisfaction. She has come to see that she wants a real man (not a puffed-up fantasist of a general) and he has come to see he wants a real woman. The rest is domesticity.
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