Tag Archives: Tony Haygarth

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