Rags to Riches Play Brilliantly Performed by Henley Players

We were very much looking forward to a night at The Kenton watching Pygmalion watching some familiar names and faces in George Bernard Shaw’s play written in 1912.

The play follows Eliza Doolittle played very well by Christie Southwick, in her journey from rags to riches.  The play begins with Mrs Eynsford Hill and her daughter Clara Eynsford Hill in the front of St Paul’s Church in Covent Garden.  Eliza desperate for flower sales runs through the area trying to get sales.  Whilst in the area she meets the phonetics Professor Higgins – played by Peter O’Sullivan.  Higgins makes a bet with Colonel Pickering that he could through special training turn Eliza Doolittle into a high-class lady from the cockney flower seller.  He suggested she should not crow like a bilious pigeon.  He then offered her language lessons for a shilling. He explains to Eliza what a handkerchief and a sleeve are and tells her not to get them muddled up!

Eliza had been transformed into a high class lady – she begins living in a new world.  With her new social status things change for Eliza and indeed when Mrs Higgins asks Eliza about the weather – Eliza recites what the weather will be like – then she was asked if she was going to walk home Eliza said “no not bloody likely I’m going in a taxi”, she had become accustomed to new ways of living.

Everyone was aware that Eliza was part of an experiment and Eliza wanted to know what belonged to her and what did not so she did not steal!  She certainly had morals and had made much progress during her training/education.

There were so many laughs created through Eliza’s training and the audience were clearly enjoying every moment.

The comment we really appreciated was “if you cannot appreciate what you have got you had better get what you appreciate”.  Maybe a life lesson?

One could certainly question some of things on a deeper level.

Thank you to the Henley Players for a great evening.

Review by Karen Washbourn

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