THIS week, until Saturday July 7, Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre is home to Cole Porter’s rollicking “Kiss Me Kate", writes the Times theatre critic Kerry Black.

First released in 1948, there can be few seventy year-old musicals which contain such a catalogue of hit songs, ranging from witty ditties to love songs.

Presented by Opera North, who previously gave us one of my favourite productions ever with “Carousel” a few years ago, I was very excited to see how inventive this show would be and it certainly did not disappoint.

In a week that truly is “Too Darn Hot”, this “Wunderbar” production melds the strength of Opera North’s core company, sumptuously dressed in a swirling set (both designed by Colin Richmond), with great invited principals to complement the style of the show.

Here they had the incredible lusty baritone, Quirijn de Lang, as Fred Graham/Petruchio strutting the stage in a black leather doublet and hose, releasing his inner Errol Flynn!

Like most old musicals it has a daft story of a play within a play as a touring theatre company, led by a feuding, divorced couple, Fred and Lilli Vanessi/Kate, try to mount a performance of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.” Although Stephanie Corley played Kate in a less fiery manner than I have previously seen, her acting gave the part a tender vulnerability, especially in the second half.

They are joined on stage by dippy Lois Lane/Bianca (Zoe Rainey, who I saw in “An American In Paris” in London last year), a flirty, blonde, young hoofer, who dazzled in her own fashion in her big solo number! Lois dreams of settling down with Bill Calhoun/Lucentio, a drunken, gambler, played by the astounding Alan Burkitt (the star of “Top Hat”), his tap solo in this show is truly the finest dance number I have seen in years.

With brilliant choreography by Will Tuckett and David James Hulston, I thought the male dancers excelled, especially Paul (Stephane Anelli) in the sizzling “Too Darn Hot” number, (unsurprising as the last time I saw him was in “Saturday Night Fever”!)

I have a great affection for this show as Kelty Musical performed it it in 1989 and my husband played the thick Second Gangster. Here Joseph Shovelton and John Savournin’s obvious physical differences gave an extra comic sheen to “Brush Up Your Shakespeare”.

With Aiesha Pease shaking her stuff as Hattie and James Hayes as the dottery Baptista, the show under the baton of David Greed and with expert direction by Jo Davies and Ed Goggin, was the perfect homage to both the hurly burly of back stage life and the glamour of old Hollywood musicals, with the added attraction of a mule!

Yes, old shows can be cheesy, but when the cheese is like molten gruyere and transports you back to the ghosts of old friends like Mary Leishman, John and Lena Smith, Gordon Young, Colin Terris and Brian Stewart, there is a reason we are still all, “So In Love” with “Kiss Me Kate”. Call 0131 529 6000 to book.