High Society fails to impress, despite the score
Theatre Royal, Plymouth, ends tomorrow
High Society boasts a fantastic score from Cole Porter and a great pedigree – we can all remember with great affection the 1956 film with Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Grace Kelly.
So I was looking forward to seeing the latest stage version at the Theatre Royal this week.
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It is, of course, the champagne-fuelled story of spoilt socialite Tracy Lord (Sophie Bould) who is about to marry the dull, but worthy George Ketteridge (Keiron Crook) when really she should be getting back together with first husband Dexter Haven (Michael Praed, pictured with Sophie Bould, left).
With undercover journalists Mike and Liz (Daniel Boys and Alex Young) at the Lords' home to witness the wedding, and the bride's father pretending to be her uncle and vice versa, the stage is set for some light-hearted fun and an evening packed with beautiful songs.
The songs are certainly there – Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, True Love, You're Sensational and Well Did You Evah?
In a desperate attempt to say something positive here, I will say that – in order to create a backdrop that was flexible but looked sufficiently classy – the set was rather good.
But the chorus spent most of their time moving it around and shifting the furniture.
The cast did a competent job, but I failed to engage with any of the characters and didn't really care if Tracy did the sensible thing and dumped dull George in favour of Dexter (even if he seemed pretty dull too).
Some of the orchestrations bordered on the pantomime end of the musical scale and some of the better numbers were lost in complicated staging and unconvincing dance routines.