What's On

Your guide to everything in North East

Classic show gets Wayne’s feet tapping

POPULAR musical High Society returns to the North East next week, just months since its last visit to the region.

POPULAR musical High Society returns to the North East next week, just months since its last visit to the region.

Wayne Sleep is the star draw in this latest production, which opens at Sunderland Empire on Monday, having played at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal in March.

Familiar to most from the classic 50s film starring Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, the show features 15 of Cole Porter’s greatest and most memorable songs, including Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, True Love, You’re Sensational and Swell Party.

High Society is a giddy blend of corking songs, fizzing one-liners and champagne-fuelled farce. It’s the society wedding of the year. The flowers have arrived, the champagne’s on ice and the guests, press and paparazzi are assembling. All they need now is for the bride to choose the groom...

At the age of 59, entertainer Wayne Sleep is proving he’s as nifty on his feet as ever.

The former I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here contestant plays Uncle Willy in the hit musical. “Yes, it’s rather a different scenario than being stuck in the Australian jungle for several weeks,” he jokes. “But what a fantastic show. You really can’t go wrong with it.

“It’s got everything in it. From the humour to the dance to the songs, I’m simply loving being a part of it.”

Wayne is perhaps our best-known dancer and he made world headlines when he quickstepped with Princess Diana in the 1980s.

More recently, his time on I’m A Celebrity, coupled with being a judge on the BBC’s Strictly Dance Fever, brought him a new generation of fans.

Few would probably be surprised if he hung up his dancing shoes now he is about to enter his sixth decade. But, for Wayne, that is not on the agenda.

“I’ll keep on doing this until people don’t want to come to see me any more,” he states. “Why give up doing something that you love?

“One of the reasons I agreed to do Strictly Dance Fever was that it was giving youngsters a chance to get into dance, show what they were made of.”

Wayne is also looking forward to returning to the North East. “I perhaps don’t get back up as often as I should,” he admits.

High Society is at Sunderland Empire from Monday until July 21.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer