“Another opening of another show”, as the opening song to Kiss Me Kate says - and what a great show it is, another in a long line of successful Crucible Christmas musicals.
The story is set backstage in a theatre and from the lengthy opening number, which takes place as the cast are gathering to start rehearsals, you feel are in the hands of a talented team who really know how to make a show tune sparkle.
The show that the actors are rehearsing is a Broadway adaptation of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, where Petruchio seeks to tame the angrily reluctant Katharine, and leading man Fred (Edward Baker-Duly) is having similar troubles with his ex-wife and co-star (Rebecca Lock).
Their romantic troubles even break out on stage, threatening to disrupt the whole show, as life imitates art.
Cue the arrival of a couple of gangsters who want to settle a gambling debt. They are willing to accompany the leading lady on stage to make sure she doesn’t make good on her threat to leave, as that means they won’t get their money back.
Delroy Atkinson and Joel Montague are a great pair of comic scene-stealers and they do a fantastic job with their big number, Brush Up Your Shakespeare.
Jamie Campbell, the real-life inspiration for Sheffield-born musical Everyone’s Talking about Jamie, was in the audience last night to cheer on Layton Williams, who is about to take the show’s lead role in the West End. Judging from his fabulous performance of Too Darn Hot, he’ll take London by storm.
The two leads Edward and Rebecca both have some great numbers that they perform beautifully and Amy Ellen Richardson and Dex Lee, playing another troubled couple, give them a run for their money.
Slick direction from Paul Foster and clever choreography from Strictly’s Matt Flint help to give the show its wow factor.
Janet Bird’s vibrant designs also work well to help create the right atmosphere.
The only thing that really jars about this show is the sexism that runs through the show, which feels horribly dated in the #MeToo era
Some of the big numbers also went on too long but a great cast created a thoroughly enjoyable evening together.
Kiss Me Kate is at the Crucible until January 12. Box office; www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk