Posts Tagged ‘Pygmalion’

Review – Pygmalion – Old Vic Theater

August 7, 2008

What a pleasure it is to watch theater that is the very embodiment of what people expect to see in London, the English language theater capitol of the world. Witty, beautifully staged, excellently acted – it was fairly well perfect. Of course, it started with an excellent script – Shaw is a good writer – but Pygmalion is a masterpiece, right up there with Hamlet. It appears it was cut a bit for length, but I didn’t mind it much (except for a reference to a black eye later in the show that didn’t seem to make sense) – each scene was a powerhouse of action, funny dialogue, and character development. The set (Simon Higlett) was rather heavily designed, but seemed well suited to a very realistic production; the costumes (Christopher Woods) were gorgeous 1910ish fashion plates (when appropriate), and the choice to put Eliza consistently in white a wonderful decision – the cut of her tea party dress had me drooling.

The actors were all basically spot on and I can’t really say too much about any one of them (in part given that the show is ending this Saturday) that doesn’t apply to them all due to their uniform excellence. They completely inhabited their characters and each one of them, from the rather hateful Henry Higgins (Tim Pigott-Smith) to his mother (Barbara Jefford) to his housekeeper (Una Stubbs) just kept me fully engaged at all time. And Michelle Dockery, well, this Eliza she had me laughing and crying at different times during the show and had irresistable stage presence to boot. Nice job all!

The previous evening’s show had left me with a bit of Post Turkey Stress Disorder, but Pygmalion washed it all away. It closes soon, but do try to catch it if you can – a better show can hardly be imagined. Me, I want to get a copy of the script and read it all to catch the few lines I missed due to them being laughed over by the audience. What a great night!

(This review is for a performance that took place on Wednesday, August sixth.)

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Preview of August: a month in theater

July 28, 2008

Shockingly, there are several days left to July and I have not a single show in store. That said, I do have some things scheduled for August, but not much yet due to going out of town a few times. (It’s summer, what can I say, I hear the call of the sea.)

August Theater Plans
5 (Tuesday): Wizard of Oz at the Royal Festival Hall. This is a birthday present and I’m looking forward to it! UPDATE: This was miserable.
6 (Wednesday): Pygmalion at the Old Vic. Hey, better late than never, and you can’t get much later than closing week. What’s amusing is that I actually won tickets to this show early in the run, but it was on a night when I was hosting a party so I couldn’t go. Ah well. I’m sure it will be much better now that the Old Vic’s lack of AC will be heating up the action on stage that much more. UPDATE: Brilliant, too bad it’s closed now.
12 (Tuesday): Three-Penny Ring Cycle at the National Theatre. It’s one act, it’s musical, it’s based on two classics, what’s not to love? UPDATE: Bah, we were rained out, or had a rain delay, so we got refunds and went home.
13 (Wednesday): All-male Mikado at the Union Theatre (Southwark). This will mean I’ve seen the Mikado twice this year, but the Union Theatre has won my heart and thus will get me to make the bet this one will have ten times the charm of the first. UPDATE: Bah again, this was sold out. Why didn’t I buy my tickets sooner?
15 (Friday): West Side Story at Sadler’s Wells. They’re about the cheapest seats I could get but they’re still a lot – but I’ve never seen this before and it had to happen.
23 (Friday): Naughty cabaret at The Roundhouse. With friends. Naughty friends.

Also, I’m aiming to fit in the Victorian Music Hall thing at Wilton’s and Into the Hoods – it should make for a busy month all in all even though eight shows makes me feel like I’m kind of sleepwalking my way through it.