High Society

High Society at the Old Vic

Old Vic, London
Booking to 22 August 2015
Not currently booking

Maria Friedman directs a sparkling new production of Cole Porter’s classic musical High Society at the Old Vic.

Cole Porter’s glittering musical High Society gets a major new revival at the Old Vic Theatre in London.

Olivier Award-winning actress and director Maria Friedman directs the show, following her acclaimed and award-winning directorial debut with Merrily We Roll Along.

Cole Porter’s classy and sparkling musical is staged in the round at the Old Vic and promises to be one of the musical highlights of 2015.

A sensational score includes classic numbers True LoveYou’re Sensational, Well did you Evah! and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

Based on classic novel The Philadelphia Story and the much-loved MGM movie starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra, High Society features music and lyrics by Cole Porter, a book by Arthur Kopit, additional lyrics by Susan Birkenhead and is based on The Philadelphia Story by Philip Barry. The show’s musical direction is by Theo Jamieson, with sound design by Simon Baker.

High Society runs from 30 April to 22 August 2015 at the Old Vic Theatre.


Long Island socialite Tracy Lord is planning her lavish summer wedding when her ex-husband appears to try and win her back. His unwelcome arrival threatens to disrupt the glamorous proceedings. When tabloid reporter Mike Connor 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, Barbara Flynn, Jamie Parker, Annabel Scholey and Rupert Young along with Ellie Bamber, Richard Grieve, Christopher Ravenscroft and Jeff Rawle.

Kate Fleetwood plays Tracy Lord. Her theatre credits include Mister Burns (Almeida), King Lear and London Road (National Theatre), Life is a Dream and Hecuba (Donmar Warehouse), Our New Girl (Bush Theatre), Macbeth (Chichester Festival Theatre, West End and Broadway), Twelfth Night (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Winter’s Tale and Pericles (RSC), A Midsummer
Night’s Dream (Bristol Old Vic), Love’s Labour’s Lost (National Theatre) and The Tempest (Globe). Her film credits include Philomena, Les Misérables, Harry Potter and the Deathly
Hallows: Part One, The Golden Age and Vanity Fair. Television includes Inspector George Gently, Waking the Dead, Hustle, Foyle’s War, Midsomer Murders and Silent Witness.

Barbara Flynn plays Margaret Lord. Her theatre credits include Versailles (Donmar Warehouse), 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). Barbara’s extensive television credits include Pat & Cabbage, Just Henry, Malice Aforethought and The Forsythe Saga all for ITV, Cranford Chronicles, 10 Days to War and The Line of Beauty for the BBC and The Queen and Tom Hooper’s Elizabeth I for Channel 4. On film, Barbara’s work includes Miss Potter, Cheerful Weather for the Wedding and Richard Eyre’s King Lear.

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. His other theatre credits include Assassins, Proof (Menier Chocolate Factory), Guys and Dolls, The Gondoliers (Chichester Festival Theatre), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Holes in the Skin and The Coffee House (Minerva Theatre), Henry IV Parts I & II (Shakespeare’s Globe), The Revenger’s Tragedy (National Theatre), Racing Demon (Sheffield Crucible), Candida (Theatre Royal Bath) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (West Yorkshire
Playhouse). Jamie’s television work includes Parade’s End, Silent Witness, Wire in the Blood and Foyle’s War, and his film credits include Le Weekend and the 2008 World War II thriller Valkyrie.

Annabel Scholey plays Liz Imbrie. Annabel is best known for playing Lauren Drake in the supernatural BBC drama Being Human. Annabel’s theatre credits include Passion Play (West End), Antigone (National Theatre), Richard III (The Old Vic/BAM/World Tour), The Rivals (Theatre Royal Haymarket/UK Tour), Charley’s Aunt (Royal Exchange, Manchester) A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Rose Theatre, Kingston), The House of Special Purpose, Wallenstein and Hobson’s Choice (Chichester Festival Theatre), Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew (Bristol Tobacco Factory), Troilus and Cressida (RSC/Kings Theatre/Edinburgh International Festival), and Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard (Sheffield Crucible). Annabel’s television work includes Jane Eyre, Eastenders and Holby City, and her film credits include Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part Two and, most recently, the feel-good 2014 film Walking on Sunshine.

Ellie Bamber plays Dinah Lord. Ellie 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. Ellie’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.

Rupert Young plays C.K. Dexter Haven. His theatre credits include Tonight at 8.30, Noel Coward’s cycle of ten one-act plays (Nuffield Theatre and Tour), Stephen Sondheim’s Company (Southwark Playhouse), Afterlife, Never So Good (National Theatre), Cymberline, Twelfth Night and HMS Pinafore for the New Shakespeare Company at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. Rupert’s television credits include Merlin, The White Queen, Hotel Babylon, Shameless, Primeval, Foyle’s War, Heartbeat and Doc Martin.

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. Richard 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.

Christopher Ravenscroft plays Seth Lord. Christopher 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. Perhaps best known for his recurring role as DI Mike Burden in The Ruth Rendell Mysteries, Christopher’s other television credits include The Shell Seekers, Mile High and The Courtroom. Film credits include The Man Who Knew Infinity, The Football Factory and Henry IV.

Jeff Rawle plays Uncle Willie. Most recently Jeff starred as Dennis Thatcher/Ronald Reagan and others in Moira Buffini’s Handbagged (West End and Tricycle). For the National Theatre Jeff 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). His on screen credits include The Redistributors, Trimming Pablo and Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, The Outcast, 88 Keys, You, Me and Them, Heading Out, Hollyoaks and Midsommer Murders.


Maria Friedman (director) is an award winning actress and director. Her production of Merrily We Roll Along won the Olivier Award winner for Best Musical Revival, and the Critics’ Circle and Evening Standard Awards for Best Musical and enjoyed hugely successful runs at the Menier Chocolate Factory and the Harold Pinter Theatre. The show also received more five-star reviews than any West End show in history.
Maria’s performing credits include Fosca in Sondheim’s Passion (Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical); Mother in Ragtime (Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical); Maria Friedman, by Special Arrangement at the Donmar Warehouse and Whitehall Theatre (Olivier Award for Best Entertainment); and Chicago, Sunday in the Park with George, Lady in the Dark, and The Woman in White.


★★★★★ “Summer has arrived. Cast doubts aside. All hail an uncomplicated, super show.” Daily Mail
★★★★ “What a swellegant, elegant party this is.” “ an ideal summer theatre treat” The Stage
★★★★ “ irresistible” The Daily Telegraph
★★★★ “The last Old Vic production with Kevin Spacey at the helm is a charming, vivacious end to his tenure” Financial Times
★★★ “visual gorgeousness” “the most sumptuous frocks in London” The Guardian

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Cast & Creatives Highlights

Show Information

Performance dates
Booking to 22 August 2015

Venue Information

Old Vic, Waterloo Road, London, SE1 8NB
Nearest Tube or Train: Waterloo (Jubilee line, Northern line, Bakerloo line)
Nearest Buses: 1, 68, 168, 171, 172, 176, 188, 501

Ticket Information

Official London Theatre tickets for  High Society at the Old Vic, London

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News about High Society

Maria Friedman directs High Society at the Old Vic
Cole Porter's High Society set for major revival at the Old Vic directed by Maria Friedman. [caption id="" align="alignright" width="240"] High Society set for the Old Vic[/caption] Award winning director and actress Maria Friedman has announced her next project following her acclaimed directorial debut with Merrily We Roll Along. Friedman is to take on Cole Porter's glamorous 1956 musical High Society, running at the Old Vic theatre from 30 April to 22 August 2015. Casting is currently underway, with Maggie Lunn working on casting the show and an announcement expected shortly. The show will be staged in the round, as part of the Old Vic's "In The Round" season which has also seen Other Desert Cities, Richard Armitage in The Cruicble and current show Electra starring Kristin Scott Thomas. High Society will have to follow Maria Friedman's exceptional directorial debut of Merrily We Roll Along, which bagged two Olivier Awards including Best Musical Revival, and Critics’ Circle and Evening Standard Awards for Best Musical. Maria Friedman said: "To stage High Society in the round at The Old Vic is a hugely exciting project providing the perfect immersive environment for a sparkling musical celebration of wedding day shenanigans. I am really looking forward to transporting audiences into the glamorous heart of this world and hope they enjoy the party!” The show's Musical Director will be Theo Jamieson, with sound design by Simon Baker. High Society features music and lyrics by Cole Porter, a book by Arthur Kopit and additional lyrics by Susan Birkenhead. The show is based on the novel The Philadelphia Story by Philip Barry and the 1956 MGM movie starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and and Frank Sinatra. Tree at the Old Vic In other Old Vic news, the South London venue has announced that it will stage Daniel Kitson's two-hander Tree at the Old Vic from 5 - 31 January 2015. The show has previously been performed at the Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre, and will star Tim Key and Daniel Kitson. BOOK Book tickets to High Society at The Old Vic
High Society heading to the Old Vic?
Rumours are circulating that the Old Vic may be reviving classic musical High Society. [caption id="" align="alignright" width="240"] Maria Friedman[/caption] The show may be directed by Olivier Award winner Maria Friedman, who would be following her acclaimed directorial debut on Merrily We Roll Along, which premiered at the Menier Chocolate Factory and went on to a West End transfer. The stage musical of High Society is based on the 1956 movie musical featuring the songs of Cole Porter, which in turn was based on Philip Barry's play The Philadelphia Story. The show has a book by Arthur Kopit and music and lyrics by Cole Porter, with additional lyrics by Susan Birkenhead. The last West End production of the show was in 2005 at the Shaftesbury Theatre starring Katherine Kingsley (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) as Tracy Lord and long-time Maria Friedman collaborator Graham Bickley as Dexter Haven. The show also starred Paul Robinson as Mike and Jerry Hall as Mrs Lord. This production was based on the 2003 Regent's Park Theatre Open Air theatre production which starred Tracie Bennett as Liz, who was nominated for an Olivier Award. Matthew Warchus, incoming artistic director of the Old Vic, is no stranger to musicals, having directed Ghost The Musical and current West End and Broadway hit Matilda The Musical. His recent movie hit Pride is also rumoured to be becoming a stage show. Kevin Spacey doesn't formerly hand over to Warchus until Autumn 2015, although it is assumed Warchus  is now heavily involved in the theatre's ongoing programming. Maria Friedman's sister Sonia Friedman is one of the West End's most powerful producers, and is currently a co-producer of the Old Vic's production of Electra starring Kristin Soctt Thomas. She also produced Warchus' Old Vic production of The Norman Conquests in the West End. It is unclear if she would be working with her sister on the production of High Society. There is no news on casting or timing, although it is expected to be in the first half of next year. Recent Maria Friedman collaborators include Jenna Russell, who starred in her production of Merrily We Roll Along. Jenna is currently playing in Urinetown until 29 November and then committed to Di and Viv and Rose at the Vaudeville Theatre from 22 January to 23 May 2015. Maria Friedman is currently performing in cabaret at The Pheasantry until 26 October 2014. BOOK Book tickets to HIGH SOCIETY at the Old Vic

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6 thoughts on “High Society at the Old Vic”

  1. I have read other reviews anbd wonder if we all saw the same musical. It was wonderful. From the start, with Stilgo getting us in the mood and encouraging us to relax and join in, to the smallest parts of the ever enthusiastic waiters and staff,Just watch Barbara Flynn – not a huge part at all – but her expressions were a joy ! it was all a complete joy. The energy and skill from start to finish from the whole cast made this musical a resounding success and I left the theatre as breathless and exhausted as they must have been !

  2. Wendy de Horsey

    I would like to purchase a copy of the High Society poster with the glass of champagne. Is there any way I can do this?

    Many thanks

  3. Slow to start although the Pianist did liven things up! Difficult to produce the era of the 50s and the type of storyline that Hollywood loved to produce as standard in a small circular space – I wondered how they would do it, but by the second Act (the Party Scene) they really did achieve the ambience of the era and even the Audience loved the brilliant choreography of the rich chicks dancing in their 50s ball gowns – table top dancing and an authentic “Did yah Ever!”sung admirably well by Rupert Young and Richard Grieve and i really enjoyed the use of the two pianos on stage and again the choreography which helped to set the Play firmly in the Hollywood mode. Loved the songs and also the stage lighting effects which gave us the inevitable Pool setting which in turn gave us the romantic setting for ‘True Love’ which was the song loved in the original film which featured Grace Kelly harmonising in a duet with Bing Crosby

  4. Gypsy at the Savoy is brilliant , High Society at the Old Vic is the opposite. The worse thing I have seen on a London stage for a very long time, thank god a I didn’t order an interval drink !

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