by Julie Wallis twitter.com/nicenic63
My Fair Lady at New Alexandra Theatre
My Fair Lady is at the New Alexandra theatre all week until Saturday and I saw it last night. As always I had a great night out.
The play, is based on Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw and first appeared on stage in 1913, is the story of the flower seller Eliza Doolittle being taught how to talk and act like a real Lady by Henry Higgins so as Higgins can win a bet.
My Fair Lady is set in Edwardian London, this meant I was treated to a plethora of beautiful costumes, I especially loved the Ascot scene where all the ladies are dressed in white to enjoy their day at the races with their gentlemen folk dressed in top hats and tail coats and looking equally fine. My Fair Lady is a visual delight as well as being packed full of so many songs that you are bound to know and love, including On The Street Where You Live, Get Me To The Church On Time, I Could Have Danced All Night and of course Wouldn’t it Be Loverly.
Eliza is played by Faye Easto, and as well as her loverly singing voice Faye also has a convincing Cockney accent, with no hint of the Dick Van Dykes and after her transformation she has an equally convincing plummy accent. Henry Higgins played by Alistair Joliffe played his part exceptionally well, he was all very Rex Harrison in his delivery and I thought he was perfect in his role. My favourite character was poor lovesick Freddy who was played by Freddie Tibbs, I love the character so much and I am still rooting for him and Eliza to get together but the play does end with Eliza returning to professor Higgins and we are left wondering if Eliza is in love with Henry.
But back to poor lovesick Freddy, he is fresh faced and very youthful in his build, but when he opens his mouth to sing, boy! Freddie has some serious pipes on him and I was blown away by this young mans singing talent. He really is a joy to listen to.
The scene set in the Transylvanian embassy is where we are introduced to Zoltan Karpathy played by David Wilkes and Zoltan declares Eliza is a fraud! Eliza is no lady……she is of royal descent, this is a lovely scene, again the costumes and set are perfect and beautiful and we are treated to the Embassy Waltz, but I was somewhat thrown when my plus one for the evening said that Karpathy reminded her of the Go Compare opera singer.
Patrick Pryce plays Eliza’s dad, binman Alfred Doolitle and once again his cockney accent was spot on. Being a cockney girl myself (only by birth, I’m definitely a fully paid up Brummie now) I am qualified to pass judgement on the accents and last night everyone was great.
The sets are lovely, very simple but 100% right for the night. I particularly liked professor Higgins study with its library look, spiral stairs and red chesterfield sofa. The street scenes looked great too, I did notice the cobblestones of the road were produced with the clever use of lighting thanks to Lichfield Light & Sound.
BMOS gave another top night out last night, as well as a superb show they gave goodie bags containing a bottle of water, some Parma violet sweets and some rose flavoured sweets, all very in keeping with Eliza the flower seller. The water was much appreciated.
That said, the Alex did have the air con set just right last night and I was very comfortable whilst I enjoyed my drinks in the piano bar where we were treated to Georgina Baker a soprano who accompanied the pianist for last nights performance.
My Fair Lady has not been on stage for a number of years now, due to some legal issues over royalties so make the most of this opportunity or in the words of Eliza “come on Dover, move ya bloomin arse” and book your tickets for a loverly night of song and dance.
See My Fair Lady at the New Alexandra Theatre until Saturday 24th June. Tickets here: atgtickets.com/venues/new-alexandra-theatre-birmingham/
Julie saw My Fair Lady on behalf of BrumHour at the invite of New Alexandra Theatre. These are her honest views guvn’r.