My Fair Lady 2009

Hunts Post

Review by Angela Singer

ROBYN North’s Eliza Doolittle is a comical gal – a real caution.

Her operatic voice is a gift from heaven, sublime, a privilege to hear, but her performance is also, unexpectedly, moving.

This Eliza is flesh and blood.  I wanted her to throw the slippers harder.

With perfect characterisation, both her “gawn” voice and her “how kind of you to let me come” voice are utterly convincing and so is the way she overlays Eliza’s new-found diction on the old sayings she grew up with. She uses this wonderful hybrid,  to tell Henry Higgins what a crass creature he is.

But Phil Pritchard as Higgins is her match. His is also a deft and polished performance with the songs sung from the heart. I saw a loving and stormy future for these two. Someone should write a sequel.

And as for you, Mr Brad Fitt, esquire, gentleman of this parish, it is a crime against the nation that we see you only once a year as a pantomime dame.

This was Alfred P Doolittle as he lived and breathed. I recognised at least two London relatives, definitely blokes of the people, in his deportment and delivery.

Now we know that Fitt is a chameleon, a liquid actor, able to fill any role you put him into, he should be on the stage every week in different roles. Gawn, give us more.

This house production by The Arts Theatre was a true ensemble piece, pacy, strong and glorious. With full-bodied voices and imaginative costumes and sets, the show was performed by every single cast member and each of the superb orchestra with verve and joy. I believed Ned Stuart-Smith as Freddie when he sang On The Street Where You Live.

I wanted to join him.

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