Pygmalion July 2015

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Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw

Directed by Florence MacFarlane

Performances at Muritai School Theatre, Eastbourne

July 2,3,4 7:30 pm Sunday 5th at 2 pm and July 9, 10,11

Doors open 7:00 pm, refreshments will be available. Curtain up 7:30 pm. Tickets only available now at the door.

Director’s Notes May 2015

“Pygmalion” rehearsals are well under way with all scenes now covered. I’m working with a great cast committed to bringing this classic to today’s audience with all the freshness of its first showing in 1914.
When GBS wrote the play travel was still the prerogative of the ‘well-to-do’ and thus Professor Higgins could place a person’s place of birth within a mile in London with the utmost confidence, knowing that they lived and died without venturing any distance from their birthplace.
After the 1914 – 1918 war people moved further afield and George Bernard Shaw would have had difficulty being quite so specific in writing of Higgins’ confident assessment of everyone’s origin by their speech alone.
Our speech defines us even today; without thinking we categorise people by their speech. English, being the most widely used language on the globe has the most variation of accent and speech patterns of any language. Therefore we, born to it, criticise other English speakers and take pride in our ability to ‘place’ a speaker in country or class.
The story as told then can be seen repeated today as migrants struggle to a achieve a decent standard of living in a new country handicapped by their background of ‘foreign’ speech.
The play is presented in its original setting of London just before the “Great War” when class was still paramount and your speech patterns and accent defined you for life.
While the subject is serious “Pygmalion” is a comedy with a wealth of contrasting characters, each with their foibles and prejudices striving to put their point across, as I am in directing this great play. Thank you George Bernard Shaw.

Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe spotted Shaw’s wonderful story, turning it into their smash hit My Fair Lady.

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