Book and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner.
Music by Fredrick Loewe.
A chance meeting outside Covent Garden between Colonel Pickering and Professor Higgins leads to an intriguing wager that Higgins could pass a common flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, as a Duchess at the embassy Ball. Eliza hearing this decides to engage Higgins to teach her to speak properly so that she can improve her station to the heights of a shop assistant. The challenge is too appealing for Higgins and Pickering, and so her education begins.
Her father, Alfred Doolittle, sees the opportunity to profit from his daughter’s strange liaison with these two gentlemen and visits Higgins’ house. His demands for five pounds compensation is met and Higgins is so impressed by Alfred’s natural rhetoric and streetwise philososhy he recommends him as a lecturer to an American philanthropist.
Eliza’s first outting as a lady is at Ascot where all goes well until the excitment of the race leads her to urge her horse on with embarrassing consequences.
The night of the embassy ball is full of apprehension for Eliza, Higgins and Pickering. Will Eliza behave, will the oily Zoltan Karpathy expose her? Eliza is a great success but Higgins and Pickering take all the credit. Eliza, upset, takes refuge with Mrs Higgins, Henry’s mother, who has become very fond of her, leaving Pickering and Higgins distraught at her going.
Alfred Doolittle is now a rich man and we see him regarding his forthcoming wedding with mixed feelings. His old cockney friends enjoy his pre-nuptial party and his discomfort.
Happily, as befits this bewitching and romantic story, Henry finds Eliza and despite the differences in their backgrounds they both realise how much they care for each other.
What The Press Said
Fair Play To Them All.
COR BLIMEY, guv’nor! What a blinding production and no mistake! Or rather, my word, what a positively spiffing show.
Bromsgrove Operatic Society overcame the odd first night technical gremlin and some unfortunately overlong scene changes to put on a corking production of this classic musical.
The rages to riches tale of the ‘ deliciously low ‘ Eliza Doolittle from the flower girl to society stunner was told in energetic and lively fashion with great performances from the principals and good ensemble playing and singing.
George Brooks as Henry Higgins was Rex Harrison incarnate, John Teece played a very natural and understated Colonel Pickering and Julie Keeley as Eliza was simply superb.
Add to this, costumes that brought appreciative “oohs” from the audience, some well-choreographed set pieces and a very good young orchestra and you have a production that deserves to pack’em in. Great fun.
Howard Walker, Bromsgrove Standard.
An Excellent Fair Lady
An apt way of describing the show – would be to replace the “fair” with “very good”. Regrettably the continuity of director Roberta Morrell’s production of Lerner and Loewe’s crowd pulling classic is dogged by delayed scene changes. The orchestra had to work extra hard during the “mini intervals”.
In between Julie Keeley as Eliza and George Brooks (Higgins) created a chemistry of rare intensity in a show where the cast have made most of their outfits. Brooks has style and the aristocratic manner needed for the part. Keeley makes the transition from the course cockney to sophisticated socialite in an amusing manner.
Peter Swingler, Evening Mail