Bristol Theatre News

My Fair Lady by BLOC Productions at The Bristol Hippodrome Review

An energetic Cor Blimey ensemble, created outstanding moments of musical theatre in BLOC Productions version of My Fair Lady last night.

A clear passion and love for theatre from the cast gives this show a special spark, something desperately lacking in many professional productions these days. Courtney Jackson’s choreography is impressive, making big numbers With A Little Bit of Luck and I’m Getting married In The Morning ovation worthy scenes.

I’m possibly the only person in the First World who has never seen the show before, never seen the film and knows nothing about it, other than some of the songs out of context.

Charlotte Hunter as a fiery Eliza Doolittle, transitioning from cockney flower girl to society lady was really impressive.

By the end of Act Two, Pete Cottell as the pompous Henry Higgins had created his character so successfully, I was awfully keen to smack him over the head with my programme, such was his arrogance.

Whilst initially the classist story line of My Fair Lady seems out of place and out of time in 2017, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Remove any romantic notions the show vaguely touts and what you have is a centuries old cautionary tale about allowing man’s indulgence and determination to craft the perfect woman.  A further warning for the future should the AI tinkering continue along its current path.

Hunter’s intelligent and refined character makes the end of the show a rather sad moment. She’s come so far but is also trapped by her situation.

Jenny Foster as Mrs Higgins and Carrie Northam as Mrs Eynsford-Hill create some delightfully light Downton Abbey worthy moments. But despite the strong cast, Simon Vardakis steals every scene he’s in as Alfred P. Doolittle. It’s the moments the whole cast comes together and something wonderful happens.

My Fair Lady is on at The Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday 30 September 2017. It’s a really decent show which holds its own rather than feeling like AmDram.