Chichester Copywriter was really impressed by the production of Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion at Chichester Festival Theatre last month and she was left yearning to hear more about Professor Higgins’ studies of phonetics and the fabulous Eliza Doolittle.
Rupert Everett as Higgins and Honeysuckle Weeks as Doolittle had fabulous chemistry on the stage and brought a laugh a minute, leaving our favourite copywriter elated and inspired to write. However, Kate couldn’t help but notice mutterings among audience members that the character of Miss Doolittle was better portrayed in the film, My Fair Lady by Alan Jay Lerner, which was based on Pygmalion. Having not seen the film, our West Sussex copywriter could not comment but she was very intrigued. You can imagine her delight when she heard that there would be an open air screening of the very film to launch the 19th Chichester international Film Festival!
The weather did not look hopeful but a long hard shower on Saturday afternoon cleared enough cloud and wet stuff to allow the outside performance to go ahead. Wrapped up in coats and blankets, it was magical to see a big screen against Chichester’s colossal Cathedral and totally heart-warming to watch such a romantic film beneath the stars. It’s true that the musical film showed a very entertaining portrayal of a flower girl transforming into a high society lady and Audrey Hepburn, along with the intricate costumes and Art Nouveau decor, was mesmerising. However, I have never laughed so much through a theatre performance as I did when Rupert Everett played Higgins.
While the outdoor screening avoided a dampening from the weather it was a little diluted by noise. There were magical elements to watching a film out in the open but unfortunately there was a bit of a disturbance from viewers who thought as they were outside it was Ok to talk through it, one over-keen audience member quite irritatingly recited all lines, song lyrics and dialogue, along with the actors (the mind boggles!) There was also a pub-goer who decided to perform a routine of star jumps in front of the big screen. This was however mildly amusing when no one reacted and just continued to watch the film, leaving her slightly chagrined.
But disturbances and a cool climate aside (oh yes, it was very cold) the show did go on and our copywriter’s passion for the arts conquered all. Kate has seen Pygmalion and loved the actors’ stage presence and has seen My Fair Lady and loved the joviality artistic effects. They both have their place on the favourites list of our creative copywriter.
Make your own minds up:
Watch the My Fair Lady trailer
Visit Chichester Festival Theatre for Pygmalion tickets