Buxton theatre show Grand Hotel is set in glamorous vintage Berlin

A musical set in the world’s most expensive hotel promises all the glamour and excitement of pre-war Berlin.

Monday, 12th August 2019, 1:55 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th August 2019, 5:30 pm
Rachael-Louisa Bray stars in the musical Grand Hotel

The story takes place in the Grand Hotel in 1928. People come and go, living the high life.

In Grand Hotel the Musical hearts are won, lives are lost or begun and the music never stops for the parade of guests and staff whose worlds briefly intertwine.

Songs from the score include Love Can’t Happen, Roses At The Station, We’ll Take A Glass Together, Maybe My Baby Loves Me and Hollywood.

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The production has been been created by Present Company, who specialise in seldom-performed shows such as Sweeney Todd, The Scarlet Pimpernel, A Little Night Music, High Society, The Dancing Years and Bitter Sweet.

Their shows are regularly seen on stage in Buxton. This production will run at the Peak District spa town’s world-famous Opera House from August 22 to 24.

The musical, which was created in 1989 with music and lyrics written by the longstanding duo of Robert Wright and George Forrest, is based on the 1932 film of the same name. Greta Garbo famously sobbed the immortal line ”I want to be alone!"

Garbo was playing the role of Elizaveta Grushinskaya, a world-famous prima ballerina staying in the hotel while making a farewell tour.

This time the part is played by Rachael-Louisa Bray, herself a dancer, who starred as Tracy Lord in the Present Company production of High Society and Marguerite in The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Raffaela, the confidante, secretary and dresser to Elizaveta, is played by Judith Hanson. It's a role she will interpret with insight, as 23 years ago she played Grushinskaya.

Her recent appearances with Present Company have been Margaret Lord in High Society, Marie in The Scarlet Pimpernel, Morgan le Fey in Camelot and and Martha in White Christmas.

Andrew Dennis plays Baron Felix von Gagern, heir to a small title and large debts, who is always hoping he will make a killing on the stock market to finance his lavish lifestyle at the Grand. Circumstances dictate that he is lucky in love only.

The Colonel-Doctor is a permanent guest at The Grand and an aloof but perceptive observer. Philip Devoil has also starred with Present Company as George Kittredge in High Society, Motel in Fiddler On The Roof and Marquis de St Cyr in The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Flaemmchen, a typist determined to be a movie star, is portrayed by Alice Hands, who played Anne Egerman in A Little Night Music and Liz Imbrie in High Society for Present Company.

Flaemmchen believes her looks will pave the way to Hollywood. That was not an impossible dream in 1928 as German-born Hollywood screen star Marlene Dietrich was ‘spotted’ for her first theatre job while sipping tea in the Adlon Hotel, Berlin in 1926.

Otto Kringelein, played by Craig Arme, is a terminally ill, 47-year-old book‐keeper who hopes that just "living the high life" will make his life of drudgery worthwhile.

Lee Stephens plays Hermann Preysing, boss of a large textile mill. He is seeking a merger with a firm in the USA to avert bankruptcy and has engaged Flaemmchen to work for him. Lee’s many roles for the company include George in Bless The Bride, Bobby van Husen in The Boy Friend, Max Detweiler in The Sound of Music and Uncle Willie in High Society.

*Box office for the venue is buxtonoperahouse.org.uk