Daniel Boys stars in Cole Porter musical High Society at the Theatre Royal Plymouth
EVEN though he's been in a string of modern musicals, it's all right with Daniel Boys to step back in time to a glamorous era in High Society.
He came to national attention as a contestant in BBC talent series Any Dream Will Do in 2007.
He didn't get his wish then, being eliminated in week six and watching Lee Mead pick up the prize of the lead role in the West End revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He's never been short of work, though, and has bagged roles in Avenue Q and the UK tours of Rent and Jeff Wayne's War Of The Worlds.
John Barrowman, a judge on Any Dream, invited Daniel to join him as a special guest on tour.
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But playing the role made famous by Frank Sinatra in the Cole Porter musical High Society is a dream of its own.
"It's just wonderful to be doing something beautiful, an old-fashioned classic musical," says Daniel.
He is reporter Mike Connor, who was played by Sinatra in the 1956 film that co-starred Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly.
The stage version adds in elements of another glamorous Hollywood comedy, The Philadelphia Story, but the feel is unchanged: of a long-gone era of effortless glamour and great songs.
The story is essentially the same: tabloid hack Connor is sent to cover the wedding of socialite Tracy Lord (Sophie Bould on stage). Ex-husband Dexter Haven (Michael Praed) hopes to win her back, but faces further competition – Connor is smitten.
"It is such a gorgeous show to do, with wonderful costumes and those Cole Porter songs," says Daniel.
The long list of hits includes Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Just One of Those Things, and It's All Right With Me.
"It's set in the 1930s, which is even more glamorous than the 1950s of the film.
"People who know the movie well will find the stage version slightly different but still delightful.
"It's wonderful escapism for audiences. You can't help smiling to yourself as you watch.
"And 'being' Frank Sinatra in a stage show – I know!
"I'm loving it."
Although Any Dream Will Do and other similar talent shows present their contestants as complete newcomers, Daniel had got his break into musical theatre in 2001 while he was still at Guildford School of Acting.
He left early – but still completed his degree – to join the cast in the first national tour of Rent.
That brought him to the Theatre Royal Plymouth and, unexpectedly, into a starring role.
He was understudying Mark when actor Adam Rickitt was taken ill. "I'd never rehearsed the role and had to step right in," he says.
Daniel went on to take on the role regularly, playing at the Prince of Wales Theatre in the West End.
He is looking forward to having a familiar face in the audience at the Theatre Royal: his brother, Richard, teaches music at Hayes School, a primary in Paignton.
The occasion will be tinged with guilt, though. "Richard is in his local amateur dramatic society and I always miss his shows because I'm away working," Daniel admits.
High Society is at the Theatre Royal Plymouth from Tuesday to Saturday next week.