My Fair Lady - UK Tour Review

Following a short summer residency at the London Coliseum last year, the classic musical My Fair Lady is now embarking on a UK Tour to entertain the masses. After originating at the Lincoln Centre Theatre, it then took the West End by storm with rave reviews, so I couldn't wait to see how loverly this show could truly be. 

Currently showing at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton until 29th January, My Fair Lady immerses you in the streets of 1913 London and takes you on a journey of class, relationships, and the wonder of the spoken word. 

 My Fair Lady follows the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young flower seller in Covent Garden who is more 'common as muck' than 'prim and proper lady'. When Eliza meets the slightly eccentric and snooty phonetics professor Henry Higgins, he vows, alongside his friend Colonel Pickering to make a fine, upstanding, well-spoken lady of her. Throughout her journey, Eliza learns how the other half live, and becomes a strong, powerful woman who stands up for what she believes in and wants for her future. 

Filled with much loved songs such as 'Wouldn't It Be Loverly' and 'I Could Have Danced All Night', this whimsical and charming show leaves you floating in your seat as the orchestra fills the sound of the theatre. From the moment the Overture started, you could tell that this was going to be a spectacular show that ticks every box from the golden age of grand musicals. Teamed with an incredible set that moved as gracefully as the dancers and transformed from Higgins' house to Tottenham Court Road with ease, you almost forgot that you were watching a play on stage at times, it just felt so real and magical. I absolutely adored the costuming that had everything from beautiful ballgowns, to tatty rags. Each costume elevated the actors on stage to create something beautiful. 

Michael D. Xavier took to the role of Henry Higgins. He was nothing short of incredible in this role and was every bit the eccentric, snooty, yet charming character we know Higgins to be. From his physical theatre as he bounded around the stage, to the moments of sincerity towards the end of the show, it was hard to take your eyes off him when he was on stage and was only matched by Charlotte Kennedy who played his leading lady Eliza. To say that she is embodied every part of this role is an understatement. From the common flower girl, to the leading lady, she truly won me over. With an incredible voice that filled the theatre, she not only nailed the classic songs we know and love, but also brought new life to some of those more forgotten tracks such as 'Show Me'. The energy on stage from this leading pair was electric and truly made the show the excellent one that it was. 

Adam Woodyatt moved from Albert Square to Tottenham Court Road as he took to the stage as Alfred P. Doolittle. I have to be honest and say that I was initially apprehensive about this casting. Mostly because Adam played such an iconic role in Eastenders that I feared I wouldn't see past the Ian Beale character. However I can say that I was pleasantly proved wrong as he bounded on stage and gave us a larger than life caricature of this common Londoner. The entire cast was nothing short of incredible in this show. Taking to the stage with such Edwardian stature that no matter where you were in the theatre, this show was bright, bold, and one that would leave a lasting impression. 

My Fair Lady was a show that was sublime. It brought the essence of classic musical theatre, but gave it a modern enough twist through staging and elaborate costuming that it didn't feel old and stuffy. With the new life and energy injected into this age old tale of elocution and class divides, you can't help but feel that UK audiences are truly being spoilt with this production. It's a show that sparks your imagination, fills your heart with joy and is more loverly than you could possibly imagine.

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