Sunday, 30 March 2014


I have not booked for many of the Bath Theatre Royal's current season, but one I did book was 'Pygmalion'
Alistair McGowan as Henry Higgins
 (photo Manuel Harlan)
I don't think I have ever seen the play before, although of course I've seen 'My Fair Lady' many times.

The evening didn't start well, as there was a road closure which meant I was late getting to the theatre, but once I was in, it was very entertaining.

This production starred Alistair McGowan as Henry Higgins, Rula Lenska as his mother, and Rachel Barry as Eliza.

It was a very good production - Rachel Barry did an excellent job of showing not only Eliza's determination and strength, but also her vulnerability.

Jamie Foreman and Rachel Barry
I felt that McGowan's Professor Higgins was a little overdone - the character is obviously supposed to be gauche and irritating, but I think a little more restraint would have improved the production.

Despite this, the production is over all excellent - witty and entertaining, but not obscuring the underlying points which Bernard Shaw was making about class and inequality, and Eliza's determination to better herself and to become independent. It's a little sad that, in the play's centenary year, the issues of inequality still resonate..

Jamie Foreman made an excellent Albert Doolittle, self-proclaimed member of the Undeserving  Poor, and later victim or unwanted wealth!

I hadn't appreciated how much of the dialogue of 'My Fair Lady' was taken directly from the original play, which gives it a feeling of familiarity, but (in this production at least) you don't miss the songs.

Special mention should also go to Rula Lenska, as Higgins' clear sighted and long-suffering mother.

The production is touring until June. If you're in the right place, it is well worth seeing.

No comments: