I’m really enjoying goal number 44- which is about making sure I go to the theatre at least once every 2 months. I’ve written about the first play I saw since I started this blog- ‘The year of magical thinking’ with Vanessa Redgrave at the National Theatre.
This play was very very different. Kind of the other side of the coin- light instead of the dark of The year of magical thinking. The story of Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion is of course well known- Henry Higgins, the talented but arrogant phonetics professor works- on a whim really- to turn a flower girl with an appalling Lisson Grove accent, Eliza Doolitle, into a classy ‘lady’; this experiment is not, however, as fun & games as it first seems, as Higgins & Doolittle become entangled in a complex relationship, & things soon become out of control, far from what Higgins envisaged at the beginning.
The 1964 musical version of this play (George Cukor’s ‘My fair lady’, starring Audrey Hepburn & Rex Harrison) was a great hit at its time- and still is. If you haven’t yet seen that, please do, it’s a delight.
Peter Hall’s version is playing at London’s Old Vic at the moment, having transferred from the Bath Theatre Royal. It’s not the musical version, but the original Shaw play… which I have to say is even better & more nuanced & interesting than the musical. The play is a well made, light & airy, really funny production; it’ll surely be a lovely & fun evening out, if you choose to see it, but the darker parts will also make you think…
For those of you who live in London & are interested in catching this play, here are a couple of reviews about it: