ALISTAIR McGowan leads the cast as Professor Henry Higgins in a major revival of one of the best loved plays of the 20th Century, Pygmalion, directed by Tony Award-winning David Grindley. at Bath's Theatre Royal this week.
Professor Henry Higgins accepts a bet with his friend Colonel Pickering that he can transform the manners and speech of Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, and pass her off as a society lady. But in the course of gentrification, Eliza becomes far more important to him than he would ever have imagined.
Packed with a host of larger than life characters, including Alfred Doolittle and lovelorn Freddy Eynsford-Hill, Pygmalion remains one of Shaw’s most popular plays and a classic British drama, full of his trademark wit, style and humour.
One of theatre’s most entertaining and beguiling romantic comedies, Pygmalion was written in 1912 and based on classical myth. The play enjoyed instant success and introduced two characters of enduring popularity - Professor Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle. The story formed the basis of the much-loved musical My Fair Lady, and has been filmed as both a play and a musical. Leslie Howard, Rex Harrison, Richard Chamberlain and Jonathan Pryce have all played the role of the arrogant Professor of Phonetics. Wendy Hiller, Julie Andrews and Audrey Hepburn are amongst those who have played Eliza Doolittle.
As one of the UK’s leading impressionists, Alistair McGowan is himself a man of many voices and an expert on accents. He returns to Pygmalion after first playing the role in the West End in 2011.
The cast also features Rula Lenska as Mrs Higgins, Jamie Foreman as Alfred Doolittle and Rachel Barry as Eliza Doolittle.
Pygmalion appears at the Theatre Royal Bath from Monday, March 24 to Saturday, March 29. Visit www.theatreroyal.org.uk for tickets and more information