Taste of the high life

In a scene from High Society are Sophie Bould as Tracy Lord, Teddy Kempner as Uncle Willie and Marilyn Cutts as Mother Lord (Photo Credit Pamela Raith).

In a scene from High Society are Sophie Bould as Tracy Lord, Teddy Kempner as Uncle Willie and Marilyn Cutts as Mother Lord (Photo Credit Pamela Raith).

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The latest production of the Cole Porter musical, High Society, coming to the Lyceum next week, has had the benefit of being given a few tweaks by the original lyricist, Arthur Kopit.

“It’s a much tighter book.” says Marilyn Cutts who is playing Margaret Lord, mother of the bride, Tracey, whose romantic entanglements on the eve of her wedding drives the story.

“One of the things Arthur Kopit has done is work out every character’s storyline,” says the founder member of cabaret trio Fascinating Aida, “and as a result it’s a much more democratic show..

“Margaret Lord is not just the mother of the bride but her own story comes into play. Her husband has left her in charge of the two daughters - she’s a single mum.

“Her daughter is unfortunately a woman who doesn’t have a generosity of spirit and she has to learn during the course of the play. It’s something her mother has to show her.

“What’s so sweet is that when her husband returns it’s only Mr and Mrs Lord who have sex during the course of the play. They emerge with a twinkle in their eye.

“The core audience for the show is older and they respond to a couple who have had a rocky time and learn not to lose what was important about their relationship. I love the role, it’s much more than a bit of support to the main storyline.”

“The other thing I think is particularly rich about this production is the choreography and the way they have integrated the staff of both houses who have a huge contribution to the show and they mirror and reflect the relationships going on.”

Although associated with Fascinating Aida, the theatre is Marilyn Cutts’ true home, especially musicals.. “For me cabaret felt like pulling teeth, I am much happier being someone else and in cabaret you have to present yourself. I love being part of a big team, an ensemble, especially if I can hoof around like this. It has been lucky for her”, she says, that her career has coincided with the boom in British musicals, especially those of Cameron Mackintosh and she was among a host of musical theatre actors who made cameo appearances for him in the movie, Les Miserables.

“I was Factory Woman number eight, we were counting our blessings making rosaries.”

She came to the Lyceum soon after it re-opened in 1990 in Showboat and has been back several times.

“On opening night I will be making a short speech as part of the My Theatre Matters campaign by Equity. It’s blazingly obvious how much it matters in Sheffield which supports two of the best theatres in the country.”

Michael Praed, Teddy Kempner, Daniel Boys and Sophie Bould also appear in High Society which runs at the Lyceum from Tuesday to Saturday.