Show was ‘tremendous from start to finish’
By Ron Ellis
My Fair Lady
Little Theatre, Southport
THIS was a tremendous show from start to finish.
Audrey Hepburn would have been proud of Beth Milligan who made a brilliant Eliza Doolittle, both as a flower girl and a ‘duchess’, and not least with her exceptional singing voice.
Les Gomersall was superb as her Dad, joining fellow Cockneys, James Delahunty and Tom McMullan, for a lively rendition of With a Little Bit of Luck and, later, partaking of some comical repartee with Higgins as he offered to ‘sell’ him his daughter.
The part of Henry Higgins was played by Gary Simpson, who has a look of Noel Coward about him, which made him perfect for the role.
Marie Orr gave a consummate performance as his mother.
Steve Pritchard stepped into the role of Colonel Pickering at the last minute, after Tom Hornby had an accident in rehearsal, but although he had to use a script, Steve didn’t just read the words, he acted them, which says everything about his professionalism.
James Henderson gave a nice rendition of On the Street Where you Live as failed suitor, Freddie Eynsford-Hill, whose mother was played by Denise Masters. Sue Palmer was Higgins’ housekeeper, Mrs Pierce.
The music was provided by a splendid eleven-piece orchestra under the expert direction of Adam Dutch while Jenny Birch choreographed a lively display of singing and dancing which, combined with an array of colourful costumes, made for an impressive spectacle.
My Fair Lady, of course, is based on George Bernard Shaw’s 1913 play Pygmalion which, with its subordination of women, has come to be regarded as an indictment of the British class system of the time.
Nowadays, with the uprising of Feminism, it is more likely to be reviled for its misogyny, confirmed when Eliza obediently fetches Higgins’ slippers at the end.
Personally, I just enjoyed it for the timeless songs, the humour, the dancing and the happy ambience it created throughout the theatre.
Star rating 9 out 0f 10: An excellent rendition of a classic musical.