Nostalgic Noel Coward songs are the vehicle Derbyshire actress Savannah Stevenson is using to travel back in time and space this month to the scene of her first childhood theatrical triumphs in Buxton.
She’s appearing with top cabaret star Dillie Keane in Cowardy Custard, a salute to the genius of Sir Noel Coward’s music and wit, at Buxton Opera House on May 31 and June 1.
Savannah, who comes from Higham, near Matlock, had great success as a child at the Buxton Speech, Music and Drama Festival.
But amazingly, the actress who has starred in London shows and in TV’s Casualty and Peak Practice, has never appeared on the Buxton Opera House stage.
“I’ve been a couple of times but never performed there before,” said Savannah, who will be singing and dancing excerpts from Coward’s best-loved comedies such as Design for Living, Present Laughter, Private Lives and Blithe Spirit.
The show is interspersed with his most brilliant songs: Don’t Put Your Daughter on the Stage Mrs Worthington, A Room with a View, Mad about the Boy, I’ve Been to a Marvellous Party, London Pride, Mad Dogs and Englishmen and many, many more. “We get a lot of older people coming to see the show who probably grew up listening to his music,” said Savannah.
“I knew some of his work, but most of his material has been new to me so it has been really interesting.”
And the show is a great opportunity for a new generation to get to know Coward.
“It’s a good introduction: “I think it’s his wit - he’s a very intelligent writer.”
Savannah trained at Guildford School of Acting (1st Class BA Hons) and The National Youth Music Theatre.
Her theatre appearances include Aspects of Love directed by Trevor Nunn; Martha Sowerby in The Secret Garden and Scarlet O’Hara in Gone with the Wind at the New London Theatre, again directed by Trevor Nunn.
On television, Savannah has appeared in Casualty, Twentieth Century Greats, Playing the Field and Peak Practice.
The show also stars Olivier Award-nominated actress, singer and comedienne Dillie Keane, best known as the lead member of Fascinating Aïda and frequent contributor to BBC TV’s Grumpy Old Women, and the UK’s leading society cabaret act Kit and The Widow.
Tickets for Cowardy Custard will be priced at £20.50 and £22.50 and discounts are available.
Call the Box Office on 0845 127 2190 or buy online at www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk.