George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion opened in London in 1914. Based on ancient Greek legend, the story tells of a sculptor, Pygmalion, who carves a female statue so beautiful that he falls in love with it. Aphrodite brings the statue to life and gives her to Pygmalion for his wife.
In Shaw’s play, Henry Higgins, a phonetics expert, takes Eliza Doolittle, a common flower girl, and turns her into someone who can pass as a duchess in speech, manners and appearance.
It was his thesis that the difference in social class would be largely eradicated if everyone had equal access to a good education in the English language. Shaw manages to make this white serious them very funny by lampooning the upper classes and their snobbery alongside the deplorable speech and manners of the lower classes.
We have combined Pygmalion with the 1956 romantic musical, My Fair Lady, and and additional Suffragette element based on the early 20th century fight for women’s equality. The songs from the musical are wonderful and the class have really risen to the challenge of singing them.
It is perhaps surprising that so many of the themes in in this play are still so relevant today and interesting that there is an updated production about to start in New York. This has given Class 8 plenty to think and talk about this term.
The class have made many of the costumes and props, and, of course, worked very hard to learn all their parts and lots of songs.
We hope you will enjoy our production!
Tue 22nd May – Fri 25th May 7pm (finishes at around 10pm, one interval, refreshments avaialabe!)