By Alannah Rogers
Bailieborough Community School’s production of “My Fair Lady” was a musical sensation that wowed audiences.
Based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, My Fair Lady tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a flower girl who takes speech lessons from Professor Henry Higgins, a linguist, so that she may pass as a “lady in a flower shop.”
Overall, I felt that the school’s production captured the vibrant and lovable story of My Fair Lady beautifully. The show was an irresistible hit and both on and off-stage performances were superb.
The orchestra, conducted by Catherine Ruddin, enhanced the performances with songs that blended harmoniously with both the choir and on-stage voices. The enchanting music by Frederick Lowe transported the audience into the world of “My Fair Lady.”
The striking costumes by Siobhan Corrie brought the stage to life. From Eliza’s black and white striped gown, with matching hat to the salmon dress worn to the climatic embassy ball, these breathtaking costumes uplifted the entire production of My Fair Lady.
The choreography by Joanne McGovern and Mary O’Rourke in “With a Little Bit of Luck” and “The Rain in Spain” added some exuberance and sparkle to the stage. The well orchestrated waltz at the Embassy Ball was graceful and elegant.
The choir, under Brian Clarke, boosted the performances on stage and added volume to the songs. The set and stage designed by Percilla Gorman and Joe Sharkey transported us back into the early 20th Century and onto the streets of London.
My Fair Lady is centred on the theme of transformation. Using Eliza as his pupil, Higgins wants to prove that anyone can be transformed into a lady if they receive the proper training. In this play, Eliza is transformed into a lady and Higgins is also transformed, transformed into a loving man. He is not just “a confirmed old bachelor”, Higgins realises that he has “grown accustomed” to Eliza and now cares for her. The director, Clare O’Reilly, captured this theme perfectly in BCS’s production of My Fair Lady.
Andrea McCabe captivated the audience with her portrayal of Eliza Doolittle, a cockney flower girl who wants to work as a lady in a flower shop. Andrea flawlessly depicted the emotions felt by Eliza with her perfectly executed tone of voice and passionate and intense songs such as “Just You Wait” and “Without You”. Andrea was precise and faultless with Eliza’s cockney and posh accents and her rendition of “I could have danced all night” mesmerized the audience.
Liam Clarke’s performance brought out all the arrogance and impertinence of Professor Henry Higgins. Clarke’s speaking style of singing delivered strong songs such as “Why Can’t the English?” and “I’m an Ordinary Man.”
Daniel O’Reilly’s performance as the good-hearted Colonel Pickering was outstanding. His enactment of Pickering was witty and beautifully performed.
Another outstanding performance came from Jordan McCabe as Eliza’s smitten suitor, Freddy Eynsford-Hill. Jordan captured the hearts of the audience with his performance of “On the Street Where You Live.”
Bailieborough Community School’s production of “My Fair Lady” was packed full of jubilant songs and witty dialogue and it was one of the “loverliest” musicals to date.