Russ Hunt's Reviews

By George Bernard Shaw

Atlantic Theatre Festival, Wolfville, Nova Scotia
12 September 1998

The Atlantic Theatre Festival Pygmalion was a solid, professional production (and with the same company as the Othello we'd seen earlier -- Desdemona was Eliza, Cassio was Henry Higgins, Brabantio was Albert Doolittle, etc.) What we particularly liked was the set -- they had about six huge pillars on rollers, that were two different kinds of pillars or opened up to be bookcases as part of Higgins's place, and a big French door in a bay which could be rotated to hav e two different decors. While they manipulated the sets various members of the company did music hall songs ("Only a Bird in a Gilded Cage," etc.). The accents were a little, um, sloppy, especially in that opening scene where Henry identifies everyone by their accents. Honest, there was no difference at all . . . but there was lots of momentum and it actually seemed as though, for a wonder, Shaw had at least once written a play instead of a series of clever speeches. And only about twice did I start to slip into My Fair Lady (at one point, Higgins actually says, in Shaw's script, "I've grown accustomed to her face").

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