Kate Fleetwood, Barbara Flynn, Jamie Parker, Annabel Scholey and Rupert Young are to star in The Old Vic’s new production of Cole Porter’s classic feelgood musical, High Society, directed in the round 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 Story and 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?
Kate Fleetwood plays Tracy Lord. Most recently Fleetwood appeared in the Almeida’s Mister Burns. Other recent work includes King Lear and London Road (National Theatre). Work for the Donmar Warehouse includes Life is a Dream and Hecuba, and she appeared in Nancy Harris’ acclaimed play Our New Girl at the Bush Theatre in 2012. Fleetwood received a Tony nomination for Best Actress for her performance as Lady Macbeth at Chichester Festival Theatre, in the West End and on Broadway, as well as in the filmed version.
Barbara Flynn plays Margaret Lord. Most recently Flynn performed in Versailles at the Donmar Warehouse. Other theatre credits include Plunder, The Philanderer, Early Days, Antigone, Tales From Hollywood, King Lear, The Revengers Tragedy (National Theatre), The Bullet (Donmar Warehouse), Short List, The Perfectionist and An Experiment With an Air Pump (Hampstead Theatre), Sorry, Hamlet and Copenhagen (Sheffield Crucible).
Jamie Parker plays Mike Connor. Jamie is known for playing Scripps in the original production of The History Boys at the National Theatre and on Broadway , as well as in the 2006 film. Parker is returning to musical theatre following his performance as Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls at Chichester Festival Theatre and Assassins at the Menier Chocolate Factory.
Annabel Scholey plays Liz Imbrie. Scholey is best known for playing Lauren Drake in the supernatural BBC drama Being Human. She recently starred in Peter Nichols’ Passion Play. Other theatre credits include Antigone (National Theatre/Olivier), Richard III (The Old Vic/BAM/World Tour), The Rivals (Theatre Royal Haymarket/UK tour), Charley’s Aunt (Royal Exchange, Manchester) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream opposite Judi Dench (Rose Theatre, Kingston).
Rupert Young plays C.K. Dexter Haven. Young is known for his role as Sir Leon in Merlin, and he also appeared in The White Queen and Hotel Babylon. Theatre credits include Tonight At 8.30 (Nuffield Theatre and Tour), Company (Southwark Playhouse), Afterlife and Never So Good (National), and in Cymberline, Twelfth Night and HMS Pinafore for the New Shakespeare Company at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.
Further casting is to be announced.
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 show Back 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).