What a lovely show in an absolutely fantastic venue. This is how I describe ‘High Society’ at The Mill at Sonning.
Only a 25 minute train ride from London to Reading, and then a 5 minute taxi ride to the theatre, it’s absolutely worth making the trek to see and do something different other than seeing a West End show time and again. The Mill at Sonning is lunch/dinner theatre in a magical setting.
Each ticket comes with a two course meal – as it’s buffet style there is plenty of food to go around. We were lucky enough to attend recently so we had the Christmas meal – it was perfect. Delicious Turkey, potatoes, with all the trimmings, and more! Water and wine on the table, with pastries and coffee/tea to top it all off. The restaurant starts serving two hours before each performance so there is plenty of time to enjoy the meal and to get to the theatre – where the entrance is easily located on the other side of the dining room.
Currently playing in the intimate theatre (which sits 217 people) is ‘High Society’ – the classic Cole Porter musical about a wealthy New York socialite who is getting married but it becomes a huge guessing game as several men are in love with her. Tracy Lord (adoringly played by Victoria Serra) is engaged to George Ketteridge (Will Richardson), much to the chagrin of her ex-husband Dexter (Matt Blaker) who appears to still be in love with her. Two reporters arrive (Matthew Jones as Mike and Laura Tyrer as Liz) to get the scoop and all the gossip about the dysfunctional Lord family during the wedding weekend. However, Tracy slowly questions if George is the man for her, especially after Dexter gives her a gift that is special to both of them. Meanwhile, Mike has his eye on Tracy as well, much to the chagrin of Liz. Mayhem and madcap hijinks ensue, with lots of toe-tapping with glittering costumes, jewelry, and hairstyles that would put any real wedding to shame. It’s all good fun while the cast works up a sweat and we just sit back and enjoy. It’s such a small stage but the cast make it work as they dance around the stage and at the sides of each other, and up and down the staircases – it’s as intimate a theatre experience as they come. And set to the wonderful music of Cole Porter it’s a rip-roaring fun toe-tapping show!
Set on the banks of the Thames, the Mill at Sonning Theatre is celebrating its 40th birthday. It’s such a unique place, in a beautiful setting, with wonderful staff and a very very cozy atmosphere. You owe it to yourself and your loved one to pay a visit very soon. ‘High Society’ finishes its run on January 20th, 2024.