Let's just say I'll be humming "With a little bit of Luck" for the rest of the week.
I had the absolute pleasure of being invited to the Special Premiere of My Fair Lady at the Bord Gáis Theatre, and truth be told, I had no idea what it was about beforehand. While I've certainly heard of it, I was essentially going into this performance blind, but I can honestly say I was instantly caught up in the magic of the story.
Why you should go?
Anyone who is a sucker for a musical should make it their mission to go to My Fair Lady. It's got everything that a good musical should have; catchy songs, loveable characters (who are hilariously flawed as well), and an incredibly built set to facilitate the story-telling.
And if you're a fan of the 1964 film starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison, then you definitely need to watch this rendition of the classic tale.
Set the scene
So I've never really been one to pay much attention to the setting of a play or musical. I'm sure an incredible amount of work goes into each production's set, but I'm generally someone who is so taken by the story that the background is... well... background to me.
My Fair Lady is the exception to this rule; the set was ever-changing, from the streets of London, to outside the local tavern, to inside Henry Higgin's house. I can't even begin to fathom the amount of work and logistics of changing the set so often, let alone building it. It really elevated the story in my opinion, particularly during songs such as "I Could Have Danced All Night", "The Rain in Spain", and "Just You Wait". That Henry's house rotated, allowing us to see several different rooms, and had character coming in and out of functioning doors was truly incredible; that this set disappeared for whole scenes at a time was too much for my brain to compute.
My Fair Lady is based off the George Bernard Shaw play Pygmalion, in which a sculptor makes an ivory statue representing his ideal of womanhood and then falls in love with his own creation.
This musical tells the story of Eliza Doolittle (Charlotte Kennedy), a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins (Michael D. Xavier), a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a “proper lady”. Henry and his household work tirelessly with Eliza, hoping to fool London society into thinking she is a duchess, only for the pair to begin to care for one another as time goes on. But what happens once they've succeeded in their task?
Well, you'll just have to go to find out won't you?
Directed by Bartlett Sher (acclaimed for the recent Tony Award-winning productions of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I and South Pacific), this sublime production features Frederick Loewe’s ravishing score and a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner.
As a sort of B plot to the play, we follow Eliza's father Alfred, played by EastEnders star Adam Woodyatt, who loves nothing more than going for a few in the tavern. He manages to extort money from Henry for keeping Eliza in his care, which makes him able to marry his girlfriend (much to his dismay).
Enter the song "Get Me to the Church on Time" which was undoubtedly the highlight of the evening. The energy, the music, the commitment of each of the actors made this number one I won't forget easily. Many of the belly-laugh moments came from any scene that starred Alfred.
According to their website, the Bord Gáis supports "equal access" and opposes "all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination." If you need to book specific seating for an access need, you can contact the Group Bookings and Access Department. They are happy to assist with:
- Wheelchair access seating.
- Seating near an exit.
- Particular access needs due to medical conditions.
- Assistive Listening Loop Devices.
- Bookings for access performances.
There will also be access performances of My Fair Lady. These include an Audio Described Performance on Thursday 20th October at 7:30pm and a Captioned Performance on Wednesday 26th October at 7:30pm.
Access performances are produced in Association with ADI Ireland.
How long is it showing for?
My Fair Lady is showing at the Bord Gáis until the 30th October.
Where is it again?
Bord Gáis Energy Theatre at Grand Canal Dock
Prices start at €31. You can book HERE.
Honestly it's very, very rare I see a bad performance in the Bord Gáis so while I wasn't expecting to be disappointed by My Fair Lady, I can honestly say it surpassed any and all expectations. I find that there's a very specific feeling upon leaving a musical when it's good - you feel light, almost as if you too could burst into song at any moment (I did not subject the other Luas riders with that at 11pm last night, don't worry).
I was so pleased that I didn't know the story going into the show because I was on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen between Eliza and Henry the whole way through - this production kept my attention throughout and has made me want to watch every adaptation of the story that exists. Truly, it was nothing short of spectacular.
So if it's not clear from the way I have raved about it, let me spell it out. I 10/10 recommend everyone to go and see My Fair Lady while it's still here.
Header image via Instagram/bordgaisenergytheatre