Tag Archives: Pygmalion

Theatre Review: Pygmalion

30 May

Plot: The clever, eccentric bachelor, Henry Higgins, professor of phonetics (Tim Pigott-Smith) transforms a young flower seller, Eliza Doolittle (Michelle Dockery), into a lady that enters high society as a duchess. This transformation is achieved in six months by elocution lessons in his ‘phonetic laboratory’ with the kindly and gentlemanly assistance of Colonel Pickering (James Laurenson) another expert on dialect.

George Bernard Shaw is indeed becoming popular again, what with the National’s success in Saint Joan last year and the still playing to the rafters production of Major Barbara, we have another serving of Shaw in Pygmalion currently making waves at The Old Vic. It’s always nice to return to The Old Vic, and I have also noticed now that the good guys from the West End Whingers have also mentioned it, that the seats are well-oiled, as I hear no squeak when I try to reposition myself. Good work indeed Mr. Spacey!

I have never seen My Fair Lady, the musical inspired by this GB Shaw play and for one thing I am glad as I don’t have any claim of reference as to which is the much better production, so I will reserve that judgment until I have the chance to see the musical.

Michelle Dockery as Eliza Doolittle whom I saw before at the National’s Pillars of the Community was amazing and mesmerizing. I would love to see more of her work on stage and believe that she will be among the brightest names in the world of British theatre if not already. Tim Pigott Smith was hilarious as Professor Higgins, who was just the opposite the character I remember him play in the BBC’s North and South, but apart from this two major characters, I must say that it was Tony Haygarth, who played Eliza’s father, nearly stole the show away from the two leads. His scenes were absolutely cracking!

I suppose it will not hurt now to add My Fair Lady to my DVD rental queue?

Pygmalion: 4/5

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Theatretrotting in May

4 May

Since I started going to the theatre on a regular basis, I now look forward every month in filling my diary with productions to watch. This month looks a bit busy with about 5 productions already booked. Now that’s probably not a lot for other avid theatregoers who probably go and see 3 or 4 productions per week, but I also have other things to do during the week, and I do get exhausted with all the late nights! And this new hobby of mine is not really cheap.

Now that I have discovered the joys of going to matinee performances which I did with Happy Now? last month it will allow me more flexibility on weekends, and then there’s Nicholas Hytner’s plans of having the National open 7 days a week now, which means even Sundays you can go to the theatre, just imagine all the productions to see!

But let’s focus on the now though Simone. So what am I going to see this month?

May 3 & 15- Major Barbara, Olivier, National Theatre

It’s my third (and then fourth!) time around and although I was supposed to watch it with my pal eddie who had to beg off because of her allergies, it didnt stop me from still going. I am bent on beating my record for the production I have seen the most number of times, with The Phantom of the Opera leading at 4 but it looks like there’s gonna be a tie soon, and about time too!

May 9- The Lady from the Sea, Arcola

It will be my 4th Ibsen production, and looking forward to be back at the Arcola again after last month’s brilliant An Enemy of the People.

May 12- The City, Royal Court Theatre

I have become a Hattie Morahan fan since the recent BBC version of Sense and Sensibility so I booked this from quite a while back. It will also be my first Katie Mitchell experience.

May 28- Beau Jest, Hackney Empire

A romantic comedy directed by Susie McKenna right in my local theatre. And you don’t have to be Jewish!

May 30- Pygmalion, Old Vic

It will be my 2nd George Bernard Shaw of this much raved about production that will set up camp at the Old Vic. Best way to end this merry month eh?