Full casting for the Old Vic’s new production of High Society has been announced. Casting includes the previously announced Kate Fleetwood , Barbara Flynn, Jamie Parker, Annabel Scholey and Rupert Young along with Ellie Bamber, Richard Grieve, Christopher Ravenscroft and Jeff Rawle. The Old Vic’s new in-the-round production of Cole Porter’s classic musical is directed by Maria Friedman, with Joe Stilgoe and the High Society Band. The show runs from 30 April to 22 August, press night is 14 May 2015.
High Society (book by Arthur Kopit, additional lyrics by Susan Birkenhead) is based on The Philadelphia Storyand the 1956 film musical starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra.
Long Island socialite Tracy Lord (Kate Fleetwood) is planning her lavish summer wedding when her ex-husband, C.K. Dexter Haven (Rupert Young), appears to try and win her back. His unwelcome arrival threatens to disrupt proceedings.
When tabloid reporter Mike Connor (Jamie Parker) arrives to cover the nuptials, he too takes a shine to the bride-to-be. But which of these three suitors will she choose?
Ellie Bamber plays Dinah Lord. Bamber recently played Lydia Bennett in the film Pride and Prejudice and Zombies directed by Burr Sheers. She also appeared in the BBC film The Falling, which premiered at the 2014 London Film Festival. Bamber’s television appearances include The Musketeers (BBC) and A Mother’s Son (ITV). Last year she appeared as Young Jenny in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love at the Menier Chocolate Factory, directed by Trevor Nunn.
Richard Grieve plays George Kittredge. He is best known for his regular television roles of Jonny Foster in Emmerdale, Sam Kratz in Neighbours and Dr Lachlan Frazer in Home and Away. Grieve played Bernadette in Priscilla Queen of the Desert for the UK tour, having previously played Tick/Mitzi In the London production at the Palace Theatre. His other stage credits include Copacabana, Footloose, There’s No Way Home, Daisy Miller (UK tour), An Ideal Husband (The English Theatre) and multiple productions with the Melbourne Theatre Company and the Sydney Theatre Company.
Christopher Ravenscroft plays Seth Lord. Ravenscroft has an extensive list of theatre credits including Dances of Death (Gate Theatre), Good Grief, Portrait of a Lady, Doll’s House (Bath Theatre Royal), The Talented Mr Ripley (Theatre Royal Northampton), Comedy of Errors (Regents Park Open Air Theatre), Summer and Smoke (Apollo Theatre), Macbeth (RSC) and is a regular on stage at the Orange Tree Theatre, having performed in The Man Who Pays the Piper, The Stepmother, The Conspirators, The Promise and Alison’s House. He is perhaps best known for his recurring role as DI Mike Burden in The Ruth Rendell Mysteries.
Jeff Rawle plays Uncle Willie. Most recently Rawle starred as Dennis Thatcher/Ronald Reagan and others in Moira Buffini’s Handbagged (West End and Tricycle). For the National Theatre he appeared in Cocktail Sticks, The Power of Yes, Fram and Noises Off (also tour and West End). Other theatre includes King of Hearts (Out of Joint), Bottle Universe (Bush Theatre), Way to Heaven (Royal Court), Releevo (Soho Poly Theatre), Excellent Choice (Eye Saw Theatre), Butley (Fortune Theatre). Regionally he’s appeared in productions of Marine Parade (Brighton Festival), Neville’s Island and Queerfolk (Nottingham Playhouse), Reluctant Heroes (Churchill, Bromley), and The Caretaker (Thorndike Theatre).
Maria Friedman made her directorial debut with Merrily We Roll Along at the Menier Chocolate Factory which then transferred to the Harold Pinter Theatre. The production received more five-star reviews than any West End show in history. Friedman’s extensive performing credits include Maria Friedman: Re-arranged, which transferred from the Menier Chocolate Factory to Trafalgar Studios; Fosca in Sondheim’s Passion; Mother in Ragtime; Maria Friedman, By Special Arrangement which transferred from the Donmar Warehouse to the Whitehall Theatre; Chicago at the Adelphi Theatre; Sunday in the Park With George and Lady in the Dark, both at the National Theatre; and West End and Broadway productions of The Woman in White. More recently Friedman has been seen performing her new showBack to Before which is to transfer to New York in 2015. She is also currently appearing as Elaine Peacock in the BBC1 continuing drama EastEnders.
Joe Stilgoe is a singer, pianist, raconteur and songwriter whose third album New Songs For Old Souls is due for worldwide release in spring 2015. He has performed around the world with his band and as a solo act, with appearances at Ronnie Scott’s, the Royal Festival Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Barbican, the London Jazz Festival, the Royal Albert Hall, Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Henley Festival, Melbourne Festival and the Montreux Jazz Festival. Autumn 2015 will see Stilgoe take to the road in his debut tour.
Choreographer Nathan M Wright’s credits include the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, Baz Luhrmann’s film The Great Gatsby, Fings Ain’t Wot They Used To Be (Theatre Royal Stratford East), The Rocky Horror Show (UK tour and Australia) and Sweet Smell of Success (Arcola Theatre).
Also in the creative team are designer Tom Pye, musical director Theo Jamieson, orchestrator and arranger Christopher Walker, Peter Mumford (lighting) and Simon Baker (sound).
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High Society – Kate Fleetwood and Jamie Parker lead line-up at the Old Vic – News