Kiss Me Kate: 1991

We start Cole Porter’s centenary year in Texas with South Houston High School’s annual Broadway musical:

That was some time in the first half of 1991, but there’s no record of precisely when.

We move on to July, and what many may have expected to be the year’s main event: the production at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth, followed by a UK-wide tour, starring James Smillie and Kate O’Mara. As I’ve suggested elsewhere, that was very good casting for Lilli, and a proper onstage spanking scene would have been the culmination of a lot of career threads. The actors posed rather awkwardly for a publicity picture that appeared in the program:

But in the event, someone who saw the production records that it was one of those pusillanimous ones where Lilli is not actually seen to be spanked:

‘Smillie went down on one knee centre stage, put her across the other with her head towards the audience, and the lights went down before the spanking began. His hand was seen to rise and fall once or twice in the fading light, but no impact was audible.’

What a disappointment!

Still in July, but half a world away, the Starlight Bowl, San Diego, California, produced KMK July 11-21, and the spanking of Jane Seaman by Stephen West featured in the publicity:

Back to school in the fall and October 26 saw a production at Campbell University, Buies Creek, North Carolina, with Robby Phillip and Tina Outlaw:

And that was 1991! On to 1992!

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