Praed’s starring role

MHDE'Michael Praed
MHDE'Michael Praed

Michael Praed will be swaping his bow and arrows for songs and show tunes when he appears in a new production of High Society tomorrow (Tuesday).

The show has been adapted from 1956 film of the same name which starred screen legends Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra. Michael, best known for the 80s hit series Robin of Sherwood, will take on the role of Dexter Haven when it comes to the Royal and Derngate in Northampton which starts on Tuesday.

High Soociety tells the story of wealthy socialite Tracy Lord in the midst of planning a lavish summer wedding when her ex-husband, jazz musician Dexter Haven arrives to disrupt the proceedings in an attempt to try and win her back.

In a further twist, charming reporter Mike Connor, sent to cover the wedding, falls instantly for Tracy, and she for him. As the nuptials draw closer, Tracy must choose between her three very different suitors.

Michael said: “It is a great opportunity being in a show like this. It is iconic and there is some great music from Cole Porter which still stands the test of time. People absolutely love it.

“There are several challenges with this show because you are on the stage for a long time singing and dancing. However, I’d never want to exaggerate it, it’s certainly not like coal mining or anything like that.

“It is a show we have been touring since January and it has been going really well.”

Starring alongside Praed in High Society will be Daniel Boys, who was one of the contestants on the show Any Dream Will Do, which was a search to find the star of Joseph.

The show fizzes with a host of beautiful ballads including True Love, You’re Sensational and the unforgettable Well, Did You Evah! This uplifting, sparkling show proves Porter’s classic musical style and effervescent wit will be a hit with the audiences.

Michael added: “It is an absolutely gorgeous score, full of some great music and some routines which are a delight to learn and perform.”

For audiences of a certain age, he will be remembered as the dashing Robin Hood in the ITV series he is best known for, a part he has a lot of fondness for.

Michael said: “Filming a television series, you are normally up very early and finish very late, so you end up being quite tired.

“However, with that show, it was worth the nights because it was a fantastic show and the people I worked with were so fantastic. I have lots of fond memories and it is nice that people remember it so fondly.”

High Society will be running until Saturday April 13 with evening performances starting at 7.30pm. There will be matinees on Wednesday and Saturday starting at 2.30pm.

The theatre is hosting a themed evening of vintage Hollywood glamour for the show’s first night in Northampton where audiences are encouraged to look their best for the red carpet and a special cocktail will be served at the theatre’s cafe.

Tickets for the show cost between £14 and £34.50 and they can be bought by calling the office on 01604 624811 or online at www.royalandderngate.co.uk.