High Society

I’m aware that I set up this blog to talk about the journey to publication. However, it turns out, the road is boring… send a query, receive a rejection, send a query, receive a rejection, rinse and repeat. I have declined a couple of contracts along the way with the main reason being the request for a cash input.

So I’m blogging about another pleasure in my life… theatre. The Old Vic in London is enjoying its current run of High Society. I have to admit, even though I love theatre in its own right, the main drive to see the show was the actor Rupert Young who plays Dexter, the ex-husband and one of the three suitors to the leading lady, Tracy.


Rupert Young as CK Dexter Haven.

If you are ever stuck for a character in your writing, I suggest you embark on a long train journey. In my carriage, there was a middle-aged couple who cracked open a bottle of champagne at 9:30am and giggled all the way to London. Their merriment was much to the annoyance of the rather austere couple opposite them. I decided the giggling couple were having an affair and on their way to enjoy a naughty weekend with Prada underwear and a do-not-disturb sign. Opposite me was a space-invading woman who was seriously jittery, wore socks and sandals, and smelt of muscle-rub. She, I concluded, was on the run, had no time to decide on fashionable footwear, and hurt her shoulder diving under a chain-link fence. In a window seat was an overweight girl who was travelling backwards with earplugs in and reading an oversized book. She kept complaining loudly that she felt sick. In my mind she wasn’t very bright but had defied all the odds and won a scholarship to RADA. Then there was an annoying older woman who dressed too young for her age. Her seat was Coach C Seat 31, I only know this because she spoke to herself, but insisted on sitting in Coach B Seat 7, next to me. So the only conclusion I could draw here was that I was magnetic like Magneto from the X-Men.

I met my fellow writer and geek, Julie, at Waterloo. If you like a little male/male romance then check out her blog juliebozza.com. Her Butterfly Hunter trilogy is delicious.

We had front rows seats for the performance, well, a front row bench to be more accurate and an aisle separated our two seats, but that was okay because it meant we could spread and I do appreciate an opportunity to spread out.

Well, what a swell party it was. Filling the first five minutes was the uber-talented Joe Stilgoe on the piano. He requested tunes from the audience and then cleverly mixed Nelly the Elephant with Blue Moon like a 1950’s version of Fatboy Slim.

Then the party started and you could grab the energy in the room and put it in your pocket for future use. The whole show rotated around Tracy Lord, played by the outstanding Kate Fleetwood, and her choice between three suitors—fiancé, George, ex-husband, Dexter, or new love interest, Mike.


Rupert Young as CK Dexter Haven and Kate Fleetwood as Tracy Lord.

Not a massive plot, not really a plot, but oodles and oodles of feel good music, dancing, smiles, laughing, mood lifting performances, and Rupert Young singing… what more could you want?

I’m involved with set design in my amateur dramatics group, Adel Players, so I did spend a disproportionate amount of time watching the pop-up set. Pianos, tables, and plinths popped up and down from the floor like a giant game of Whac-A-Mole. It was simple but inspired; tables became dance floors, plinths for statues became platforms for tap-dancing and two co-joined pianos popped up for a game of duelling pianos. Lights created blue flickering swimming pools, orange stars, and a twilight sky. I have stored the visuals and put into the same pocket as the energy.

We visited the stage door after the show and Rupert kindly came out for a chat. He said they had just completed their one-hundredth show and with eight shows a week, his main problem was getting enough sleep so he was worn-out. We complimented him on his performance and he kindly signed my ticket. Julie said that Rupert was very generous with his time and chats to her whenever their paths cross. The Saturday matinée was her fifth visit to High Society and he comes out to greet her every time she stands at the stage door.

With a handful of heart-shaped confetti, we headed home via Prezzo and a good chat about writing, publishing, and the delightful foolishness that it is to be a fan.


3 thoughts on “High Society

  1. Hello, Shell! It was such a pleasure to spend Saturday with you – and even a little bit of it with Rupert! I was really interested to read your post about what you took away in your pocket from High Society. If anyone reading this is at all interested, I’d encourage you to go. I can’t believe the gusto this cast, crew and musicians pour into this show after all these weeks! The audience is left bubbling over with joy.

    Shell, I’m so glad that we get to share our writing journeys together as well as occasional theatrical detours!


  2. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I did have rather full pockets when we left! I am also glad I have someone to share the journey with. Until the next detour….


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