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Pygmalion
Pygmalion

by George Bernard Shaw
Directed by Sheila Arden

10th to 17th October 2020

 

Audition Date: TBA

Director Sheila Arden   07778 405320  sheilaarden@icloud.com 

Most of us will know the popular stage musical and film, My Fair Lady.  

This is the play upon which the show is based and is, of course, far superior!

Written in 1912, Pygmalion is Shaw’s comedic masterpiece and most popular play.

In Case you don’t know the story…….

Henry Higgins, a teacher of phonetics, accepts a bet from Pickering that simply by changing the speech of a Cockney flower seller, he will be able in six months to pass her off as a duchess.

Eliza undergoes gruelling training and successfully ‘passes’ in high society—having become a lovely young woman of sensitivity and taste.

Shaw celebrates Eliza's new-found independence, whilst showing the human cost for a Frankenstein abandoned by his creation.

 

The play became famous as a motion picture in 1938, winning an Academy award for Shaw for his screen play, and later as the stage musical My Fair Lady (1956) and film version (1964).

 

And does the play have relevance today?

Absolutely! It exposes the inanities and inequities of the English class system, as well as championing feminism. Pygmalion may be set a century ago but the questions Shaw raises about identity, class and gender come ringing across and still speak to us today.

The play abounds in rich, comic characterisation, and the script has the wonderful lilt and flow so often found with Irish playwrights.

 

Technical

Retaining its original 1912 setting; a streamlined, simple version of the locations is required: Covent Garden, Higgin’s Study, and Mrs Higgin’s Drawing Room,

and transitions should be smooth.

Period furniture and props will be very important and should really stand out against a simple background.

Costumes of the Edwardian period are extremely elegant, and by using a restrained palette, should also be enhanced by keeping the surroundings simple.

These should also be as authentic to the period as possible and Eliza’s later costumes should be breath-taking!

Acting Requirements

Whatever your age or acting experience, this play has something for everyone.

 

Main Characters and Audition Pieces:

 

MALE

Henry Higgins

A forty-year-old bachelor and linguistic scientist. Energetic, enthusiastic but socially inept; an inconsiderate and infantile character at times, he still comes across as likeable. He may not change, but eventually gains respect for Eliza.

p29(in 6 months)-p31 (throw her out), p55, bottom of 99 to top of 101

Colonel Pickering     

A distinguished retired officer, a little older than Higgins and an expert in Indian dialects. He shares in the experiment to transform Eliza, towards whom he is courteous and polite.  p73-75

Alfred Doolittle

Eliza’s father. A dustman with an expressive voice, he has an original mind and an absence of conscience. His unwanted transformation into middle-class respectability is one of the play’s highlights. p45/46,

Freddy Eynesford Hill

The unintelligent son of an impoverished noble family, in love with Eliza. p10.

 

FEMALE

Eliza Doolittle

A twenty-year-old uncouth but feisty flower girl who transforms into a thoughtful and sensitive young woman. Her triumph is in being able to challenge Higgins with dignity and integrity. P26-top of 28, p60, p103/104

Mrs Higgins

Henry’s mother. A woman of taste whose poise and perception brings some order to the people around her. p91-92

Mrs Pearce

Higgins’ house keeper. Keeps Higgins in order! P38-39

Mrs Eynesford Hill

Freddy’s mother. Quiet and well-bred, but plagued by anxieties about money. p9/10

Clara Eynesford Hill

Freddy’s sister. A somewhat ignorant and pretentious snob. p9/10

 

Cameo Roles to also be cast

Bystander

Sarcastic Bystander

Mrs Higgin’s parlour maid

 

Rehearsals: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, some Sundays,

commencing Monday 24 August.

Cast 
 
Crew 
 
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