Pygmalion Icon
Garrick Theatre
Charing Cross Road WC2H 0HH
Pygmalion - The Play
Garrick Theatre location mapMap ©Silvermaze Ltd 2008 Garrick Theatre photoPhoto ©Tony Reading 2008
Show Details
Preview 12th May 11
Opens 25th May 11
Booking to 3rd Sept 11
Show Times
Mon - Sat 7.30 pm
Matinée Thurs, Sat 2.30 pm



Local Info
Top Class restaurants nearby;

Mon Plaisir (French)
21 Monmouth Street
020 7836 7243

Loch Fyne (Fish & Seafood)
2 - 4 Catherine Street
020 7240 4999
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CAST

  • Rupert Everett - Henry Higgins
  • Kara Tointon - Eliza Doolittle
  • Peter Eyre - Colonel Pickering
  • Michael Feast - Alfred Doolittle
  • Diana Rigg - Mrs Higgins
  • Peter Sandys Clarke - Freddy Eynsford-Hill
  • Marty Cruickshank - Mrs Eynsford-Hill
  • Roberta Taylor - Mrs Pearce
  • Director - Philip Prowse
  • Design - Philip Prowse
  • Lighting - T/F
  • Costume - T/F
  • Sound - T/F
  • Producer - Duncan C. Weldon and Paul Elliott, Nica Burns & Max Weitzenhoffer for Nimax Theatres, Michael Edwards & Carole Winter for MJE Productions and the Theatre Royal Haymarket Company.

BAXTER'S THEATRELAND BY NIGHT
A classic viewing of all the Theatreland play houses by night. The authentic commentary, by Ben Shafik - a player himself - gives an authentic feel to the West End's theatres - and is backed by real music.
Next version will be more upbeat as, suggested, to celebrate Britannia's unbeatable heritage.
(Over 6000 viewings and all good reviews to date).
Let us know what you think.


A note from the author

I took these pictures to show off London theatres as they are seen -most often - by theatre goers, at night.

Thanks to Ben Shafik for his lighthearted and informative commentary and Fionn O'Lochlainn for the original music.

Watch out for the new version with current liveries and the names of the theatres as they appear.

Baxter

Diana Rigg  
Diana Rigg  
  Kara Tointon
Kara Tointon
Michael Feast  
   
Pygmalion Old Poster
Old Pygmalion Poster
   
  Rupert Everett
  Rupert Everett

I have always wondered how so many can produce one work and now I suddenly understand. Theatre calls purses producers. A producer is someone who stumped up in some way to get the production out to the people. So nowadays the more investors the merrier as all of them can contribute a smaller sum.
The rest is up to the people ed.

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My Fair Lady - Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady
The famous film My Fair Lady won a virtually unprecedented eight Oscars. Wonderful Audrey Hepburn gave her spirited soul to every part of it - and it became a part of our society language. - right from the nursery.. Shaw's play Pygmalion which inspired it, got George Bernard Shaw an Oscar in 1938 He had called it 'A Romance in Five Acts' as a film.

People have said 'When you have seen Pygmalion, the film the script of My Fair Lady seems like a Hollywood blow-up of Shaw's original work'. Shaw's play starkly shows the cruelty, inherent in class prejudice and discrimination against women. In addition it indicates how far we have progressed in just 70 years.

It is not only because Shaw's script is superior but also Hollywood does like its candy floss spun around any essential core of messages, symbols and philosophy. The expression of sentimentality helps at the box office.

STORY

Rupert Everett as Henry Higgins
Rupert Everett as Henry Higgins
Professor Henry Higgins, an erudite man of words and wit, teaches phoenetics. His friend Colonel Pickering holds a different view of society happily relegating the lower orders to their place because of their incapacity to learn (especially anything like phoenetics). Higgins on the other hand wagers that he can teach a loudmouthed cockney flower seller how to speak, along with all the graces and not a few airs, so she would pass muster as a lady of the uppermost crust.

The rest of the play is the wager brought to life and how Higgins later discovers that Eliza's old style cockney attitude lives on and invades his dyed-in-the-wool opinions - progressive as they were for his day and age.

Pygmalion PosterThis play was written for polite society and Higgins impolitely slammed insults towards Eliza - interpreted today as portraying him a nasty man. The poster shows his mouth in a twisted sneer looking every bit a baddie. I never thought of him like that because his use of vernacular and strong language are openly and wittily used to colour his otherwise obsessively correct lingual skills.

The story is a superb exposition of a man's desire to create perfection and PC never allows that.

Shaw was hardly politically correct by today's PC standards (given nastiness and disrespect for our fellow man are woven in to every soap episode and litter television dialogue) however when Shaw published his plays PC had not yet invaded the principle of free speech.

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Imagine you have bought 4 tickets. [the more you buy the better value you will get from the play. You can talk it over with three people instead of one. Of course you may want to see it on your own - there are lots of things you can do alone' to quote But it takes two to tango.

Any bunch of people can get the script and learn the parts and do it all in their front room wearing anything they like – and go for it.

I am telling you now - it's the last bit that's usually missing. However such living room antics make a great few evenings, they exercise the brain and increase attention span from whatever you got to whatever it takes to go for it... any bunch of people that is.

Kara Tointon
Kara Tointon
Instead, you can see the play and watch superior actors take their parts like a surfer takes a wave. Instead, you can teach your children well because they would surely talk about it especially with you. and instead, you will learn much about humanity. Real men and women are the life that makes it live - pronounced both ways.

PYGMALION
This play offers something else in any way it's emphasised and whatever the players bring to it of themselves. This is not a 'show' it's a play.

Remember the lighting and sound stars are men and women too. You can feel their beating hearts throughout. They light it up.

In the first instance this play is written by the master of playwriting Bernard Shaw. Some say that Henry Higgins is the closest to portraying himself - who knows?

Many of his lines are woven in to the English we speak seventy years on. The words were heard for the first time that long ago when such class and sex distinctions were oh so real.

Bernard Shaw knew how get a good laugh at old school attitudes towards class, sex and political antics. He wrote about 60 plays - mostly very funny. Pygmalion is funny.
The play was ostensibly about a linguist who upheld that class was judged by the way society talked. It may seem less obvious today as even the BBC talks all sorts of lingo and the aristocracy drops jargon and americanisms into the smartest of conversations while mixing with the lower orders, happily accepted at some very top.
Good' or 'bad' class privileges differ outwardly. And Inwardly? Well it may take a few more generations to transcend old beliefs learned in the nursery that normally last the whole life. Even rebels who marry cross class maintain their internal battles, Shaw's plays still accelerate progress.

©Covent-Garden.co.uk 2017 Updated 23rd May 2011