High Society ★★★★ The Mill at Sonning | Nov 29, 2023 - Jan 20, 2024


In 1940, Philip Barry's play, The Philadelphia Story, was made into an absolutely brilliant screwball comedy starring the inimitable Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and James Stewart. In 1956, the musical version of the story with a score by Cole Porter was released as High Society. At that time a critique of the remake was that it didn't manage to capture the subtle blend of wit and sentiment that informed the original play and film. This latest version of the story includes more of the Porter songbook than was in the 1956 film of the same name, and lovers of the masterly songwriter will no doubt be delighted. The production numbers of such favourites as "Let's Misbehave," "I Love Paris" and "Let's Do It" are great fun. However, as with the original musical reworking of The Philadelphia Story the trade-off here is that the plot and character development get even shorter shrift. This is a show that one enjoys for its choreography, singing and the cast's great energy, but the sharp repartee and subtle development of character in the play are lost. The issues of class, superficial judgment and press intrusiveness all disappear in a vigorous celebration of Porter's music. One doesn't really care much if Tracy (Victoria Serra) learns to forgive her father, to accept her parents' reconciliation and to have some compassion for Dexter (Matt Blaker) her first husband and his alcohol addiction. Whether Mike (Matthew Jeans) the sleazy tabloid reporter overcomes his class preconceptions and recognises the humanity of his subjects is irrelevant. We just want to get on to more singing and dancing by the talented cast. At this time of year, The Mill at Sonning always delivers an entertaining show plus a lovely Christmas meal. This homage to one of America's greatest songwriter's is a terrific seasonal outing.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Andreas Lambis

Want to save on tickets? See our Tips page.

When, Where, Getting there:
  • Nov 29, 2023 - Jan 20, 2024
  • Evenings: Tue - Sat 8:15 pm. Restaurant open and serving dinner from 6:15 pm - 8 pm
  • Matinees: Sat 2:15 pm. Restaurant open and serving lunch from 12:15 pm - 2 pm; Sun 3 pm from Dec 3
  • No matinees: Dec 24 & Dec 31
  • The Mill at Sonning
  • Nearest station: Reading
  • https://millatsonning.com/shows/high-society/

Most Popular

St. Martin in-the-fields: Lunchtime Concerts ★★★★ FREE

Naked Boys Singing, The Garden Theatre at The Eagle - ★★★★ - Until October 25, 2020

The Last Caravaggio ★★★★ The National Gallery | Apr 18 - Jul 21, 2024 (Free Entry)

London Tide ★★★ National Theatre | Apr 10 - Jun 22, 2024

Howerd's End, Golden Goose Theatre - ★★★★★ - Until October 31, 2020

Calendar Girls ★★★ The Mill at Sonning | Apr 11 - Jun 1, 2024

Your Lie In April – The Musical in Concert ★★★★★ Theatre Royal Drury Lane | April 8 & 9, 2024

Player Kings ★★★★★ Noël Coward Theatre | Apr 1 - Jun 22, 2024

Foam ★★★★ Finborough Theatre | Mar 19 - Apr 13, 2024

The Comeuppance ★★★★★ Almeida Theatre | Apr 6 - May 18, 2024

The City Life Magazine | Reviews & Ratings