Daniel Boys on glitz, glamour and High Society

High Society

High Society - Credit: Archant

It has all the glitz of Hollywood and all the glamour of the 1950s – High Society is on stge in Norwich. ABIGAIL SALTMARSH finds out more about it from award-winning singer Daniel Boys.

Daniel Boys is no stranger to musical theatre — he has appeared in numerous West End productions and UK tours, and was also a contestant in BBC talent show Any Dream Will Do.

But, says Daniel, there is something quite different and exciting about the latest production he is starring in. High Society offers an insight into a world that Daniel, 34, has only ever seen on the big screen and a role that is quite unlike anything he has ever taken on before.

'I jumped at the chance to play Mike Connor in High Society,' he admits. 'As a movie it is so famous – iconic really – and it was so different to anything I had every done in the past.

'It is set in a very different world; a time when Hollywood was so glamorous, and the audience really seem to enjoy that – some of them even dress up in clothes from that time and you can see them singing along.'

Daniel, who has been touring with the show since January takes the part originally played by Frank Sinatra in the famous 1956 film.

'The role was interesting to me for different reasons. Firstly, I loved the fact that Mike, a reporter, is really grumpy to start with, and then, of course, he also gets to sing Who Wants to be a Millionaire?'

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The singing style required for a part like this contrasts greatly with those of other musicals he has appeared in; the likes of Grease, Godspell and Sweeney Todd, to name but a few.

'It is very different but it goes well with the musical and the era, and you can't help but like it,' he admits.

With music by Cole Porter, High Society is, of course, a classic, feel-good musical boasting timeless crooning songs and lavish costumes.

Taking to the stage at Norwich Theatre Royal, it tells the story of wealthy socialite Tracy Lord, who finds herself torn between three men on the eve of her lavish summer wedding.

Her options are fiancé George Kittredge, ex-husband Dexter Haven who is determined to win her back, and the ultra-charming reporter Mike Connor, who falls in love with her instantly in the countdown to the big day.

Much like the original movie, this production boasts an all-star cast. It is headed up by Michael Praed, who is best known for playing the title role in the hit television drama Robin of Sherwood and also appeared in Norwich when he took on the role of Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music, in 2011.

Joining him on stage will be top singer and performer Marilyn Cutts, who is also a member of comedy singers Fascinating Aida, and is no stranger to Norwich, having taken on the role of the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, in 2006.

'This is a lovely company and the tour has been going very well,' says Daniel. 'It is a musical that is great fun to part of. One of the scenes I personally enjoy most is when I get drunk. As an actor it is wonderful to be given a drunk scene – and to be given a moment when you kiss the leading lady!'

Daniel plans to stay with the show until the end of the year, enjoying performing in a variety of theatres and seeing different parts of the country. His career has already gone from strength to strength since his appearance in Andrew Lloyd-Webber's television competition Any Dream Will Do, in 2007.

He created the title role in the world premiere of a new musical production of Peter Pan, won the Theatregoers Choice Award for Best Takeover in a Role, in 2009, for his part in Avenue Q, and joined John Barrowman's tour Music, Music, Music, which culminated in a performance at the world famous Royal Albert Hall, as a guest star.

He has also recently been seen as one of the headline performers in The Night of 1000 Voices at the Royal Albert Hall and completed a successful run as Algernon, in a new musical version of The Importance of Being Earnest, at the Theatre Royal, Windsor.

'I have also recently made a film with David Paisley called Fall-Out,' he says. 'It is about two exes who end up in a fallout shelter together, and it is currently going round the festivals. It was fun to do that too and I would like to make more films.'

But, he adds: 'While I do enjoy acting, music is my real passion. Ideally, it would be great to end up with career like John Barrowman's; doing some acting and television presenting but also still managing to do my music.

'Whatever I do in my career I never want to stop that – I always want to keep singing.'

t High Society, Norwich Theatre Royal, July 1-6, £38-£6.50, 01603 630000, www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk