Friday, 12 June 2015

REVIEW - High Society, Old Vic


WATCHING Maria Friedman's production of High Society is like being at one big fantastic and "swell" party.
It is full of champagne, great music, convivial characters, joie de vivre, fun and frivolity and if you don't leave with a spring in your step you must be very hard to please.
Written by Cole Porter and now on at the Old Vic, it is staged in the round which adds to the party atmosphere with a piano that rises from the floor on which musician Joe Stilgoe tinkles the ivories while the cast drink and dance around.
And while there is a definite feel good factor it is a story full of snobbishness and class - where everyone knows their place.
It features the extremely wealthy Lord family, and their servants, on the eve of daughter and Long Island socialite, Tracy Lord's nuptuals to working class man made good, the rather stiff and boring George Kittredge.
All is going swimmingly until Tracy's ex-husband, Dexter Haven (Rupert Young), appears at the house to try and persuade her to ditch boring George and get re-married to him.
Things for Tracy are complicated further when tabloid hack Mike Connor, brilliantly played by Jamie Parker, arrives to cover the nuptials, and finds he too takes a shine to the bride-to-be.
With three men vying for her affection Tracy has a big decision to make but plenty of music, song, dance and champagne, plus a naked swim in the family pool, help her realise that dullard George just isn't really her type.
Not only that when the hangover hits, she realises that despite her petulance at chucking Dexter in the first place, he really is the one for her.
It is a fantastic show - the direction, staging, singing and acting are top notch and with a stellar cast headed up by the fantastic Kate Fleetwood as Tracy, it really does have the wow factor.

High Society is on at the Old Vic, The Cut, until August 22. Tickets from £10. Visit or call the box office on 0844 871 7628.

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