Get ready ladies as stage and screen heartthrob Michael Praed is set to steal your hearts in the hit comedy musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels which comes to Oxford’s New Theatre this August.
Praed made his name making maidens swoon in Robin Of Sherwood and went on to carve out a successful stage career. He has recently starred in The Sound of Music, Dangerous Corner and High Society.
The actor plays silver-tongued conman Lawrence Jameson who spends his time in the South of France frequently slipping into impersonations of a certain prince to fleece gullible heiresses out of their fortunes.
And, Praed, who takes over the lead from Robert Lindsay, will no doubt look just as dashing as when he played Prince Michael of Moldavia in the super-soap, Dynasty (though, perhaps, without the uniform).
Joining the star in the UK tour will be former Hear’Say singer Noel Sullivan (We Will Rock You, Priscilla Queen of the Desert), Carley Stenson (Legally Blonde, Shrek the Musical) and Mark Benton (Hairspray, Waterloo Road).
Sullivan, as slobbish grifter Freddie Benson, meets the sophisticated and jaded Jameson on board a train. Benson is looking for ways to up his game and the experienced veteran thinks it would be fun to have an apprentice.
Mark Benton’s Andre Thibault, who is Lawrence’s right-hand man (and local police chief!), puts the pair onto a soap heiress who may be the answer to their dreams of avarice.
The innocent and lovely Christine Colgate (Stenson) appears to be ridiculously wealthy. She finds herself the subject of a bet. Whichever one pulls her first gets to be top dog with the loser leaving town.
Lindsay made the part his own during its year-long run at the Savoy Theatre, in London’s West End.
But this slick and stylish comedy, which relies heavily on the charm of Jameson’s character, should be a walk in the park for the charismatic silver-haired Praed.
The two conmen are culturally poles apart and the difference makes for some epic laughs especially when Benson resorts to pretending to be a wheelchair-bound former serviceman in a bid to win Christine’s heart.
Jerry Mitchell directs this glittering and glamorous Broadway-style production with real flair. There are some beautifully choreographed set pieces and laughs a plenty.
It is loosely based on the 1988 Hollywood movie of the same name that starred Michael Caine and Steve Martin and it’s a crime caper that bowls along with some catchy tunes courtesy of Jeffrey Lane and David Yazbek.
Jerry Mitchell said: “I am thrilled that Dirty Rotten Scoundrels will be taking to the road in the UK.
“I have no doubt that every city we visit will take this hilarious show to their hearts and will laugh and enjoy this musical as much as a quarter of a million people who have already seen it so far have done”.
2015 Tour Dates
May 5-16, New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham
May 20-20, Opera House, Manchester
June 9-20, Sunderland Empire
June 23-July 4, King’s Theatre, Glasgow
July 7-18, Liverpool Empire Theatre
July 21-25, Princess Theatre, Torquay
July 28-August 1, Regent Theatre, Stoke
August 4-8, New Theatre, Oxford
September 15-26, Edinburgh Playhouse
October 20-31, New Victoria Theatre, Woking
February 16-27, 2016, Bristol Hippodrome Theatre
March 1-12, Milton Keynes Theatre
More tour dates to be announced.