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Theatre Review (Singapore): ‘My Fair Lady’

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fairlady

Base Entertainment presents My Fair Lady at Marina Bay Sands Theatre from February 17 to March 2 2014.

My Fair Lady tells the tale of poor, struggling flower girl Eliza Doolittle (Aurora Florence) who meets phonetics expert Professor Henry Higgins, who then makes a wager that he’ll be able to train the cockney-speaking Doolittle into a proper lady within six months. Doolittle moves in with the brash and arrogant Higgins, and as she becomes a lady, she also finds herself drawn to Higgins, as he is to her.

The production got a standing ovation on the gala night, and deservedly so as it ticks all the boxes that make an exquisite musical: catchy songs, multi-layered story, and memorable characters. On top of that, the dialogue is simply sparkling with wit and humour, whilst slowly revealing the multiple dimensions and depths of Doolittle and Higgins, and of starchy British society and the classes of the era.

There is also plenty of creative direction employed, for example in the scene at the races where a plethora of minor characters gather. With choreographed eye movement and body maneuvers, the cast manage to react to the horses racing by with great conviction as if we were really at the races.

The sets are beautiful and detailed, especially Higgins’s ostentatious home, and the costumes are perfectly fashioned after that era.

Those familiar with the movie My Fair Lady will be happy to hear these classic songs (“I Could Have Danced All Night” and “Get Me to the Church on Time” to name just two) once again. Florence has a sweet and melodious voice, and her amazing ability to sing with a cockney accent and then morph it into an upper-crust English accent is nothing short of superb, and an indication of her immense talent.

My Fair Lady is certainly a musical that all in the family can enjoy, as it came out of a far more innocent era when a simple, charming story could be entertaining for children as well as adults. Is it any wonder that this musical has lasted and been revived many times over since 1956? So, do make haste and catch this wonderful production before it ends.

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About Sharmila Melissa Yogalingam

Ex-professor, Ex-phd student, current freelance critic, writer and filmmaker.
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