Brush Up Your Shakespeare With Kiss Me Kate
28th March 2014


Last week, Oundle School’s Director of Music, Quentin Thomas made his stage musical debut at Oundle with Kiss Me Kate, while for Ali Boag, the show about putting on a show was his final production at Oundle after eight years as Director of The Stahl Theatre in Oundle.

In the 50th anniversary year, Cole Porter's songbook remains a favourite for theatre goers, who were not disappointed by the calibre of the talented cast of pupil performers on stage, or the accompanying orchestra that played live from the pit.

Sarah Boyle's (15) opening solo ‘Another Op'nin, Another Show’ set the standard for what was to be an immensely entertaining evening.

Mimi Monteith (17) was a stunning Lilli Vanessi, and packed a punch as the feisty shrew of Shakespeare's Katherine, shifting gracefully from romantic melodies to the spitting fury of ‘I Hate Men’. Harry Hickey (17), her vexing leading man, was very smooth in a number of accomplished solos.

In a supporting role, Kirsty Ross-Stewart (17) was the glamorous nightclub singer Lois Lane, fielding numerous Tom, Dick and Harrys, including fellow supporting player Ali Mason (16), a seductive, gambling cad, whose relationship is summed up in the equivocal, ‘True To You in My Fashion’.

George Cobb (15) opened the second act with the famous finger-snapping jazz show tune, ‘It's too Darn Hot’, leading a fine ensemble choreographed by Molly-May Keston (15).

Hugo Beazley (16) and Ed Ashton-Johnson (17) played the gangster characters sent to collect an I.O.U., and found themselves doing time as Shakespearean extras, stealing a few scenes as the comedic duo.

Theatre Manger, Ali Dean's set of large folding panels neatly delineated the off and onstage scenes, and Wardrobe Manger, Jo Henderson displayed her versatility, outfitting actors for both the 1940s and Elizabethan period with exacting detail and creativity.

Ali Boag commented, “Above everything, of course, Kiss Me Kate is fun – as much fun as I have had with this and with every company I have directed at Oundle. This production is for all of them with my admiration and my endless thanks.”

Quentin added, “Kiss me Kate is absorbing on so many levels: plays within plays; the pacing and offsetting of emotions as sincerity is followed by the seemingly banal; the sheer demands made on the actors and musicians – it is a complex beast to stage! It has been a joy working with this wonderful cast, band and production team.”

Press contact:


Liz Dillarstone

Publicity and Press Relations Officer

Oundle School

01832 277267

07810 788458

Background Information on Oundle School


Oundle School is situated in the quintessentially English market town of Oundle, about 90 miles north of London. The School’s buildings, dating from the 17th to the 21st centuries, are dispersed throughout the town, which is, to a large extent, its campus.


The School’s history dates back to 1556, when Sir William Laxton, Master of the Worshipful Company of Grocers and Lord Mayor of London, endowed and re-founded the original Oundle Grammar School, of which he was a former pupil. In 1876, the Grocer’s Company divided the School into two parts; Laxton Grammar School, primarily for the inhabitants of the town, and Oundle School, primarily for pupils from further afield. In 2000, the Grocers’ Company reunited the two schools under the common name of Oundle School and retained the name of Laxton for the day House.


At the beginning of the 20th century, Oundle was put firmly on the map of leading English public schools by its most famous headmaster, F W Sanderson, who established Oundle’s reputation as one of the great science and engineering schools, a reputation still renowned today. In 2007, SciTec - a major and ground-breaking new science complex - opened, housing 16 state-of-the-art laboratories. Phase two of the SciTec vision is now underway, with enhanced Design Technology facilities and a new purpose-built Mathematics Department planned to link the STEM subjects both physically and philosophically. A concurrent Sports Masterplan will upgrade sporting facilities across the School over the next few years, including a new 1st XI cricket pavilion in 2015.


There are currently 1110 pupils are on roll at Oundle School, with 865 boarders and 250 day pupils. Also within the Corporation of Oundle School is Laxton Junior School, a day School for children aged 4 to 11. 

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