MUSICAL THEATRE REVIEW – Ellie Bamber is the rising star who plays the role of 14-year-old Dinah Lord in Maria Friedman’s effervescent revival of Cole Porter’s High Society at The Old Vic (opening tonight, Thursday 14 May). Ellie made her screen debut at the age of 15 alongside Martin Clunes in the ITV drama A Mother’s Son, having earlier appeared on stage in Trevor Nunn’s 2010 parlour production of Aspects of Love at the Menier Chocolate Factory. And, ticking off the holy trinity of stage, TV and movies (other credits include the film The Falling and BBC1’s The Musketeers), she’s soon to be seen in the big-screen adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a mash-up based on the best-selling novel by Seth Grahame-Smith (written with a little help from Jane Austen). In it, she plays Lydia Bennet, the teenage sister of the film’s heroine, Elizabeth.

Common to all of Ellie’s roles is the fact that she’s yet to play someone of her own age or older, thanks largely to her gamine figure and baby face. She also has a child-like playfulness that makes her perfectly suited to the part of Dinah, the meddling teenager desperate to right the wrongs of the Lord family.

Musical Theatre Review’s CRAIG GLENDAY caught up with Ellie at the Old Vic in the afternoon following High Society’s first preview.

How are you enjoying the experience of being part of High Society so far?
Ellie: It’s been going really well, thanks. We had our first preview last night, so that was really, really exciting – it was a great night. I’m having an absolute ball on this show.

It’s been a while since you’ve been on stage…
Yes, it was quite a few years ago now, in Aspects of Love – Trevor Nunn’s production at the Menier Chocolate Factory. I really enjoyed it, and was so lucky to be cast.

You’ve now worked on stage, and on film and TV – do you have a preference?
No, I love all of them, and particularly stage and theatre – and TV! [laughs] It’s the diversity that I love. They’re all so different and you use different skills for each of them.

How is it working with Maria Friedman?
Maria is amazing. She’s so great. It helps that she’s an actress and singer as well, so she knows where we’re coming from when we need help. She really does understand what it means to be an actor. And she’s a lot of fun!

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IRISH EXAMINER – Ellie Bamber has admitted it takes her hours to get to sleep each night after starring in new West End musical High Society.

The 18-year-old actress plays teenage tomboy Dinah in the fun-filled show, based on the hit 1956 film starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra, which has just opened at the Old Vic Theatre in London.

The story follows a night of wild and lavish partying before her older sister Tracy’s wedding, and Ellie spends almost three hours six evenings a week, plus two matinees, dancing, singing and cartwheeling around the stage with the rest of the cast.

She confessed: “It takes me about two hours to get to sleep. I’m texting people for hours, because you have so much adrenaline inside you, the last thing you can think about is sleeping, but it’s great.”

The Falling star admits taking on a role made so famous on screen is a little daunting.

Ellie confessed: “High Society was an old family favourite of ours. I love the story, it’s an incredible story.

“I think there’s always that pressure with big films or musicals and plays that people have done, before there’s always pressure to perform and get something great across. But I think you’ve just got to take it in your stride and portray it as you like to.”

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Ellie attended the after party on press night for “High Society” on May 14, 2015 in London.

Public Appearances > 2015 > “High Society” Press Night – After Party

High Society Theatre

I have added onstage and rehearsal pictures of Ellie for “High Society”.

Theatre Productions > High Society (2015) > On Stage
Theatre Productions > High Society (2015) > Rehearsal

Movies The Falling

INDIEWIRE – Cinedigm has acquired the North American distribution rights to “The Falling,” the story of a tragedy and a fainting epidemic that hit an English girls’ school in 1969.

Written and directed by Carol Morley (“Dreams Of A Life”), the film stars Maisie Williams, who plays fan-favorite Arya Stark on “Game of Thrones,” and features a spooky soundtrack by Tracey Thorn.

“‘The Falling’ is a mesmerizing psychological drama that delivers a tremendous emotional punch,” said Yolanda Macias, Cinedigm’s Executive Vice President of Acquisitions. “Carol has made an intriguing and unsettling film which has cult status written all over it.”

The film will have a national theatrical, VOD and digital download release beginning late summer 2015.

Magazine Scans

Ellie is featured in the April 28 issue of the Evening Standard. You can find the scan in our gallery now!

Movies Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

DAILY DEAD – Revealed at Las Vegas’ CinemaCon are release date changes for upcoming films of the horror, sci-fi, and fantasy varieties, as Universal has pushed back the releases of Pacific Rim 2, The Mummy, and Warcraft. Sony and Screen Gems also recently made a change of their own by slightly bumping up the theatrical debut of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies:
Initially scheduled to come out on February 19th, 2016, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is now slated to hit theaters a few weeks earlier on February 5th, 2016.

In the film, “the heroine, Liz Bennett (James), is pressured by her family to marry into a wealthy upper-class home but chafes at the stiff social mores of Victorian England. Instead, she feels that she should help defend the countryside against the onslaught of a horrifying zombie plague.”

Lily James, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote, and Matt Smith star in the horror comedy. James plays Elizabeth Bennett, Riley portrays Mr. Darcy, Heathcote shall play Elizabeth’s sister, and Smith takes on the role of Mr. Collins. Jack Huston, Douglas Booth, Charles Dance, and Lena Headey, meanwhile, round out the core cast. Among the producers is Natalie Portman, who was once in line to star before departing the project.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is directed by Burr Steers (Igby Goes Down, 17 Again) from a screenplay he wrote with David O. Russell. Along with Craig Gillespie and Mike White, Russell was once attached to direct the adaptation of the 2009 Seth Grahame-Smith horror comedy novel of the same name, itself a parody of Jane Austen’s 1813 classic work of literature, Pride and Prejudice.

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