My Fair Lady 2016   

St James Church, Lower Hutt.  Saturday, 16 April.


If you read the previous concert report, it ended with our players folding their tents (yes, really) and after lunch in the Dowse, off to the flower show. My Fair Lady is a 1956 musical about a Covent Garden flower girl (with accent to match) who has inherited intelligence from her dad, and ambition not from her dad (so that leaves her mum, and she probably got a goodly dose of brains from her as well). This is not a rags to riches story; more an aitchless to matchless story. You leave arguing about if she's met her match yet.

It was a wonderful concert, with expressive acting, excellent singing and playing. Most notable of course was Pasquale Orchard as Eliza. This is a musical that flows around the character of Eliza Doolittle, a young and aspiring flower seller.

Above is the overture. What Hollywood would call a trailer.

It begins in Covent Garden. (That's in Lunnen, innit.)

Many of the primary characters appear in the opening scene at Covent Garden. Flower stalls for the coming day are being set out (by your lower class) whilst the hupper class wot can pernownse haitches are trying to get taxis after a show. It's a mild clash of cultures, and a few flowers get spilled. Not to worry, the nobs chuck some coins to cover the loss and are on their way. In the by-play, two linguists meet, and set themselves up to have a flower girl as a sociology experiment. Not that anyone knows that yet.

The musical goes on for two and a half hours, so that's it for the story line. Below are a few highlights. You should have been there. If you were, here are some memories....

Bit 'o luck Just you wait 'enery 'iggins
A quartet of, well, layabouts really. The jacketless one
 is Alfred Doolittle, who can be relied upon not to be relied upon. He has a philosopher-sociologist intelligence
that ups his odds of a "Lil bit o' Luck".  
 Barry Mawer revelled in the part.
Eliza Doolittle. Currently pursuing a career move from
 Covent Fower Flogger to the dizzy heights of a Florist Shop Sales Assistant. This was wonderfully played by Pasquale Orchard, a superb singer and performer.
 The above "Just you wait, 'enry 'iggins" is suitably bloodthirsty, backed by a brown belt in Slipper Throwing.  
The famous scene in which Eliza forgets that she is only to discuss the weather (so Hampshire-like)
 and general health issues
 (the value of tincture of gin).
Here she advises Dover
 (the horse, but include the jockey)
 to move his bloomin' arse.

Surprise all round at the
 sudden change of topic.
Just you wait 'enery 'iggins
Freddy Simply charming
This is Freddy, who has often walked down this street before, but now carries a torch for Eliza. Actually, it's a rose.  William Pereira sang the part well. The character he portrays is a pale contrast to domineering Higgins, but the song is a great one. Climax of the Embassy Ball. Her Highness finds Eliza
 simply charming. To the right of Eliza is Henry Higgins, played by Adam Jordan. He portrayed the character well, the arrogance, egotism and ultimately sensitivity and vulnerability. 
Albert Doolittle has acquired an income of 4000 pounds a year,
 which is roughly 4 million dollars
 in current terms.   Erk!
He has become an inner city squire, a source of income to all and sundry, and obliged to marry and become downright respectable.

This is his departing song...
"Get me to the Church on Time"

Get me to the church
Final curtain call. Left unstated were a number of issues, such as whether slippers do walk away without anyone noticing; and who Eliza might marry. She may really only have a choice of one, but then, so does Higgins. She would have to do some character re-engineering probably. With the help of Higgins mother. Times are changing.

Final curtaint

The cast received a well-deserved standing ovation at the end.