Book and lyrics by
Alan Jay Lerner
Music by Frederick
Directed by Anne
At the Q Theatre,
Queanbeyan to 25 September
Reviewed by Len Power
1 September 2022
The musical, ‘My Fair Lady’, which opened on Broadway in
1956, was the phenomenon of its era. It became
the longest running musical ever until overtaken by shows such as ‘Cats’ and ‘The
Phantom of the Opera’. A perennial
favourite, it continues to be revived around the world.
This story of a cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, whose rough speech and manners are transformed by phonetician, Henry Higgins, and who is presented at Court as a refined upper-class young lady, retains the spirit and social comment of George Bernard Shaw’s play, ‘Pygmalion’, on which it is based.
The director of this new production, Anne Somes, has a fine cast of principal players and chorus who sing, act and dance the show with enthusiasm and skill.
Stephanie Bailey is a beautiful and delightful Eliza
Doolittle. She sings the role very well,
especially her songs, 'Wouldn't It Be Loverly', ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’ and ‘Just You Wait’. Her transformation from Cockney flower girl
to refined lady is quite believable.
Stephanie Bailey (Eliza Doolittle) with the Cockneys with 'Wouldn't It Be Loverly'
Pippin Carroll gave a finely-etched characterisation of the young, love-sick Freddy Eynsford-Hill. His passionate singing of ‘On The Street Where You Live’ deservedly stopped the show.
Isaac Gordon (centre) as Alfred P. Doolittle and the Cockneys with 'Get Me To The Church On Time'
There were also good performances from Cameron Taylor as Higgins’ former student and rival, Zoltan Karpathy, and Jill Young as the sorely-tested and patient housekeeper, Mrs Pearce.
The orchestra under the baton of Alexander Unikowski played the lush score very well and Michelle Heine’s choreography captured the spirit of the period. Her setting of ‘Get Me To The Church On Time’ was particularly well done.
The many costumes by Fiona Leach were eye-catching, showing a good understanding of clothes in that period. The costumes for the Ascot Races and Embassy Ball scenes were especially fine.
This strong and winning company gave one of the best musicals ever written a very enjoyable and memorable performance.
Len Power's reviews are
also broadcast on Artsound FM 92.7 in the ‘Arts Cafe’ and ‘Arts About’ programs
and published in his blog 'Just Power Writing' at https://justpowerwriting.blogspot.com/.