Production synopsis This classic comedy was inspired by the Greek myth of Pygmalion, a sculptor, who makes a statue of his ideal of womanhood and then falls in love with his creation.
Shaw’s witty and comedic masterpiece is his most popular play and became the basis of the popular musical ‘My Fair Lady’.
Henry Higgins is a teacher of phonetics, who accepts a
bet that simply by changing the speech of a Cockney flower seller he will be able, in six months, to pass her off as a duchess. The one thing he overlooks is that his ‘creation’
has a mind of her own.
Pygmalion may be set a century ago but the questions Shaw raises about identity, class and gender are just as relevant today.
Below you can watch an interview with director Sheila Arden on this production. You can also watch Sheila’s original pitch for Pygmalion from our 2020 “Lockdown Launch”. (Please note that this video displays the original 2020 production dates).
Henry Higgins – A forty-year-old bachelor and linguistic scientist. Energetic, enthusiastic but socially inept; an inconsiderate and infantile character at times, he still comes across as likeable. He may not change, but eventually gains respect for Eliza. p29(in 6 months)-p31 (throw her out), p55, bottom of 99 to top of 101.
Colonel Pickering – A distinguished retired officer, a little older than Higgins and an expert in Indian dialects. He shares in the experiment to transform Eliza, towards whom he is courteous and polite. p73-75.
Alfred Doolittle – Eliza’s father. A dustman with an expressive voice, he has an original mind and an absence of conscience. His unwanted transformation into middle-class respectability is one of the play’s highlights. p45/46.
Freddy Eynesford Hill – The unintelligent son of an impoverished noble family, in love with Eliza. p10.
Eliza Doolittle – A twenty-year-old uncouth but feisty flower girl who transforms into a thoughtful and sensitive young woman. Her triumph is in being able to challenge Higgins with dignity and integrity. P26-top of 28, p60, p103/104.
Mrs Higgins – Henry’s mother. A woman of taste whose poise and perception brings some order to the people around her. p91-92.
Mrs Pearce – Higgins’ house keeper. Keeps Higgins in order! P38-39.
Mrs Eynesford Hill – Freddy’s mother. Quiet and well-bred, but plagued by anxieties about money. p9/10.
Clara Eynesford Hill – Freddy’s sister. A somewhat ignorant and pretentious snob. p9/10.
Cameo Roles to also be cast:
Mrs Higgin’s parlour maid