Ahead of its time in its exploration of sexual politics and tackling the issue of class restrictions head on Pygmalion is the story of egocentric Professor of Phonetics, Henry Higgins who makes a bet with his friend, Colonel Pickering, that he can transform the manners and speech of Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle and pass her off as a society lady. Everett and Tointon have a wonderful on stage chemistry that brings out the complexities of the Higgins/Doolittle relationship and Tointon, who makes her West End debut in this production, should be applauded for her very capable performance in this difficult role. Michael Feast does extremely well as Alfred Doolittle considering he only joined the cast three days ago due to a virus that has left initially cast Simon Ward unable to undertake the role.
With press night fast approaching and a new cast member to rehearse the cast have been hard at work fine-tuning their performances but took time-out after a really long day to chat with us after the show. Everett, who played Higgins at Chichester last year told us how this production is different and why he was happy to resume the role while Kara Tointon told us about being new to the cast and how she prepared for the role – especially the accents. We also learnt about Shaw’s epilogue for the piece and what he envisaged as the future on Wimpole Street - it certainly surprised a few of us!
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- Laura Norman