My Fair Lady

The cast of My Fair Lady is to be revered for a masterful performance showcasing the highest levels of acting, singing and dance. Not only was their team spirit as a company so evident, but the high expectations of the audience – this piece being so renowned – were surpassed by the sheer panache and exceptional professionalism exhibited, unparalleled on the Lancing stage.
Compelling performances by the principals drew the audience in from curtain up. Jess E played Eliza Doolittle with intense vitality, transforming seamlessly from Cockney flower-girl to sophisticated lady. Her heartfelt, profound renditions of Wouldn’t It Be Loverly? and I Could Have Danced All Night enhanced her character, revealing to the audience the true tenderness and courage of Miss Doolittle. Meanwhile the utterly sublime and superb Harry A embodied Professor Henry Higgins with flair and charisma. His perfectly aristocratic accent conveyed superciliousness, his bravura rendition of Why Can’t the English? perfectly encapsulating this sentiment. He dealt with the casual misogyny woven into the piece with deftness, sensitivity and skill and, throughout the performance, emitted an aura of seriousness and magnanimity as he showed his character’s journey from cynical teacher to caring friend, culminating in a tender rendition of I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face. To complete this marvellous trio, Jonny W played the role of Colonel Pickering with gentleness and gentility, conveying kindness and a caring nature towards Miss Doolittle. Jonny was also able to bring out the humour in his character with his hilarious telephone calls, and his catchphrase ‘Well, I’m dashed!’ provoked equal amusement.
Other noticeably outstanding performances came from Tom G’s portrayal of the sweet and innocent Freddy Eynsford-Hill. An actor with powerful stage presence, Tom dazzled audiences with his heightened Received Pronunciation, as well as completely captivating rendition of On the Street Where You Live. Quentin B comedically portrayed Eliza’s father with verve and enthusiasm, the inner philosopher realised with gusto and farcical expertise. His two trusty henchmen, Jamie and Harry – Oliver P and Finlay R respectively – completed the Cockney trio. Shirin M and Ms Kelly Edwards marvellously portrayed women of a certain age, Mrs Eynford-Hill and Mrs Higgins, while Anya C’s composure as Mrs Pearce ensured that she conveyed authoritativeness and good sense amidst the oftentimes complex relationships developing on stage.
The supporting cast were impeccable, with intricate blocking and the freeze-frames at the start of many of the scenes, especially the Ascot Gavotte, being performed with the utmost precision. The Servants’ Chorus comedically expressed their rueful pity for their employer; the Cockney Quartet were nostalgic and bittersweet. A musical on this scale depends heavily on the expertise of the Chorus: all played their part with distinction and relish: scene changes were seamless and characterful; the dancing – choreographed by Rachel Brown – was wonderful.
Those on stage thrilled to the live orchestra under the baton of Mr Langworthy, adding another layer to this already delightful array; elegant costumes (Mrs Charteris) & atmospheric lighting (Mr Chandler) added to the West End quality: this was far more than a school play. Huge credit to all the production team and above all to director and producer Mr Smith, for putting on a show which deservedly received a
standing ovation every night.

Dante P, Upper Sixth