My Fair Lady

Farnworth Performing Arts Company

Albert Halls

Until Saturday

Adapted from George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, My Fair Lady is the story of phonetician Henry Higgins who slips into the Covent Garden flower market to record the voices of its sellers, he cracks that he could make a grubby flower girl sound like a duchess.

The grubby flower girl, Eliza, takes him up on the offer. And in a few months – through bullying and coaxing and repetitive pronunciation drills – he succeeds.

Director Phil Harrison has gathered a strong principal line up to bring you all the well know numbers from the show including, ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’ and ‘Wouldn’t it be loverly?’

Sophie Lord is excellent as Eliza Doolittle, making the role her own.

She accomplished the singing with ease and manages the transition from flower girl to ‘lady’ excellently. John Preston is great as Professor Higgins, suitably arrogant and dismissive of almost everyone but not without vulnerability when his pride is pricked He shows a playful sense of humour and makes nice work of the patter songs devised for non-singer Rex Harrison.

Supporting the two leads were Colin Dean as Pickering, Zack Thornley as Freddy ­— beautiful rendition of ‘On the street where you live’, Elaine Nuttall as Mrs Higgins ­— a cracking performance in the style of Dame Diana Rigg ­— Ivor Farley as Alfred, a great performance of ‘Get me to the church on time ­— and Joanna Astley as Mrs Pearce. All of them had their moments of glory and all gave excellent performances.

A large ensemble gave good support, doubling up where required to keep the production flowing. The choreography by Sue Crosby was good especially in the large set numbers.

Musical Director Steven Sandiford and his band were brilliant, kept those familiar numbers coming to the delight of the audience.

Despite a couple of first night technical glitches, the cast and crew have produced an entertaining show that deserves full houses.

Jason Crompton