There have been several reality show's on the TV of late, trying to get the poor/uneducated to whizz around and change how things affect them...maybe to better their lives...some have worked some have fell by the wayside, but great entertainment has been had by 'us' the public on their road!
Reality concepts aren't that new, George Bernard Shaw the playwright of tonight's play at People's Theatre in Newcastle wrote Pygmalion in 1912.
Pygmalion is the story of Eliza Doolittle, a streetwise flower girl being nurtured and educationally 'bullied' by Professor Higgins and his colleague Colonel Pickering. They want her to speak the Queens English and not the London Cockney drawl that she has. Higgins puts on a gentlemanly bet with Pickering that he can turn Doolittle into a 'Duchess' at an ambassadors garden party. He doesn't know half the trouble that he is letting himself into. Doolittle may be the filth below his feet, but she certainly has a good mind of her own.
Pygmalion is a tragicomedy and all on stage performed well to ensure this.
Anna Dobson (who I last saw directing Guys and Dolls REVIEW) played Doolittle with a certain tongue in cheek attitude, which the audience warmed to. She is certainly at home on either side of the stage. Roger Liddle as the boisterous and stuck-upish Higgins did a great job of it. I don't believe I have seen him perform before, but I look forward to the next time. The rather more calming influence of Pickering, played by Steve Robertson kept the balance on stage just right. A notable mention for Keith Wigham, who again I last saw performing Guys and Dolls, played Mr Doolittle with great effect.
Non of the actors on stage as far as I know were mic'd up, which at the start of the play with the sound of the teaming rain coming through the sound system, meant that the audience were struggling to hear the performers talking, gladly the London weather cleared enough for the rest of the play to be heard properly.
I was also disappointed with the fact that the whole premise of the play was the bet at the party, this act was only narrated. I thought it would have been much better to show even five or ten minutes for us to continue Doolittles' journey.
Pygmalion is great entertainment and lived up to the fantastic work that The People's Theatre are giving us month after month.
Grab your ticket now!!!
Tickets are £10.50 with concessions at £8.50. Pygmalion is running until 22nd January at 7.30pm