Pygmalion: Chichester Festival Theatre  

What struck me most about Chichester Festival Theatre’s recent revival of  Bernard Shaw’s classic Pygmalion was how timeless this play is.

The lines which have the audience bursting frequently into genuine laughter are as funny today as they must have been almost one hundred years ago.

It is difficult not to expect the actors to suddenly burst into song at various points but today’s students will probably not be so familiar with the classic 1960s musical versions and will therefore not be anticipating this.

Honeysuckle Weeks is a beautiful Eliza, raised from guttersnipe to lady by Rupert Everett as the chauvinistic Higgins.

The director Philip Prowse has chosen to marry Eliza off to Freddy at the end and to have two rather pointless intervals, thus making Act 2 hopelessly short, but otherwise this is a sumptuously staged production whose star-studded cast also counts Stephanie Cole as the matriarch Mrs Higgins.

The wonderful Edwardian costumes were a particular delight.

Pygmalion was on a limited run at Chichester.

Review by
Wendy Marshall

Photographer: Manuel Harlan