Most people would know the musical ‘My Fair Lady’ and the story of Eliza Doolittle, but not many know that the musical originated from George Bernard Shaw’s classic 1913 play, ‘Pygmalion’. The Australian Shakespeare Company currently have a production in Melbourne at the Athenaeum Theatre which is playing from the 11th of June to the 23rd of June. I had the opportunity to view this production of Pygmalion and it did not disappoint.
With a cast of only 8, you would think it would be difficult for eight people to combine to tell the story of the original ‘My Fair Lady’ but it is done flawlessly. Genevieve Kingsford is both vulnerable and sassy as Eliza Doolittle. Her convincing portrayal of Eliza’s transformation from pauper to practically princess is thoroughly impressive. Andrew Cullimore is perfection as Professor Higgins. His body language, tone and his chemistry with Genevieve Kingsford’s Eliza was electric and kept me on the edge of my seat. Other talented cast members include Philip Hayden as Colonel Pickering, Elizabeth Brennen, Helen Hopkins, Martin Moolman, Leah Baulch and Syd Brisbane who seamlessly take on multiple roles.
While the set is minimal, the costumes are spot on and the acting is so exquisite that the minimal set won’t bother you in the slightest. Seeing Pygmalion has proven to me that the story can actually exist and be enjoyable without breaking into song. I was introduced to this story first via the musical version. The Australian Shakespeare Company‘s production of Pygmalion is lovingly directed by Greg Caroll, putting a unique take on the play without taking anything from the classic text.
I loved Pygmalion so much, I was brought to tears. I believe that everyone should go see this impressive production while you still can. Not only did I enjoy this production, but I was discussing it with my friend who accompanied me long after we left the theatre. This production by The Australian Shakespeare Company has reminded me exactly why I love going to the theatre, so thank-you.
Pygmalion is currently at Athenaeum Theatre from the 11th of June to the 23rd of June. Tickets are available now through Ticketek. The photo above is supplied by The Australian Shakespeare Company.