REVIEW: My Fair Lady – The Island Savoyards

Adapted from George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, My Fair Lady is the story of phonetician Henry Higgins who slips into the Covent Garden flower market to record the voices of its sellers, he cracks that he could make a grubby flower girl sound like a duchess.

The grubby flower girl, Eliza, takes him up on the offer. And in a few months – through bullying and coaxing and repetitive pronunciation drills – he succeeds.

Director Andrew Wilson-Jenner and Choreographer Joanna Adams clearly worked hard with the very talented cast to create a polished performance from the Island Savoyards 

Alice Burton-Jones was excellent in the role of Eliza Doolittle, making it her own. It was so wonderful to see someone new to a principal role and take it with such command. Her acting was a particular highlight of the show and she managed the transition from flower girl to ‘lady’ excellently. 

David Kast  was great as Professor Higgins, suitably arrogant and dismissive of almost everyone but not without vulnerability when his pride is pricked.

Supporting the two leads were Paul Stevens  as Pickering, Nathan Stubbings as Freddy ­— beautiful rendition of ‘On the street where you live’, Martie Cain  as Mrs Higgins  ­— John Hammond as Alfred, a great performance of ‘Get me to the church on time  which was the strongest production number in the show­— and Olivia Pike as Mrs Pearce. All of them had their moments of glory and all gave excellent performances.

A large ensemble gave good support, doubling up where required to keep the production flowing. The ascot scene received a very worthy round of applause for its costumes although it would of been nice to see a more elaborate backdrop for this scene. 

Musical Director Steve Burton  with the 17 piece orchestra  were brilliant and accompanied the show throughout. 

Despite a few technical glitches with scenery and some rather long gaps between scene changes which could of perhaps flowed more easily with music segueing more quickly the cast and crew have produced an entertaining show that deserves the  full houses it had.

The Island  Savoyards once again triumph and show just how versatile they are as a company.  

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