Swedish Kiss Me Kate Special

These pictures have more than a Kiss Me Kate theme in common. They’re all SWEDISH!!

They’ve been scanned from original photos sent to me by a reader so they’re also probably NEW!! (Click to enlarge them)

First up across the knee of Sten Gester’s Petruchio is the very attractive Berit Carlberg in a 1969 Stockholm production. You can tell it’s the 1960s by the other female in the picture who is dressed like a go-go dancer!


At first I thought she was a part of the scene and was trying to stop Petruchio from spanking Kate. But her lack of period dress and the fixed stare of the actor away from the camera makes it seem more likely that she is posing his arm for a shot from a different angle. Kate’s looking in the right direction though, and it’s a great shot of her.

There is an amusing note on the reverse of the photo, thankfully in English:

“The story tells of the actor who “wears out” the actresses – and the actress across his knees is the fifth one…”

The next one comes from the start of the same decade, 1961. It’s also from a Stockholm production and shows a handsome and devilish looking Petruchio played by Sture Lagerwall spanking Maj-Britt Nilson. It’s the intimate eye contact between spanker and spankee that makes this one special.


Leaving Stockholm, and travelling even further back in time, we come to Malmo in 1951. Evy Tibell seems to be well protected underneath all those layers, but that doesn’t stop Nils Buckstrom from doing his best to make an impression on her tender rump.


Thanks to the regular reader who sent me these pictures. He told me that he has seen many other productions of Kiss Me Kate around the world.

Talking of Kiss Me Kate “tourism”, I was reading the diaries of Kenneth Tynan over the holiday and found a passage in which he speculates about writer Evelyn Waugh of Brideshead Revisitedfame.

10th October 1975

Finished C. Sykes’ biography of Evelyn Waugh. Full of odd unnoticed facts – E. W., who abhorred the theatre, saw Kiss Me Kate ten times (was he a spanker? apropos of the Profumo scandal, he said that ‘a pound a swish’ was a highly inflated price).

Lots more juicy titbits from the Tynan diaries coming soon.

Trivia note:

The Swedish word for spanking is “smisk”

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7 thoughts on “Swedish Kiss Me Kate Special”

  1. Great pictures! Cheers for sharing.

    I nearly picked up the Tynan diaries the other week in some bargain bookshop. Sounds like I should’ve done so..

  2. Thanks from one KMK ‘Arcccchaelogist’ to another
    The only other Swedish production I know of was a disaster: the stage lights were turned off, and the spanking wassimulated by a cast member clapping his hands at the back of the stage!

    Feel fee to contact me

  3. This sounds like political correctness to me – wasn’t Sweden the first country to ban all forms of corporal punishment? (Even in the theatre??!)

    If I had been in the audience, I would definitely have demanded my money back!

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