The iconic musical My Fair Lady has made its return to the West End at The London Coliseum after 21 years. Lerner & Loewe’s much-loved musical comes with some fantastic additions and wonderful casting.
The cast: Okereke’s performance of Eliza reveals many different emotions and gives more depth to her character, while also providing light-hearted moments as well. She is a very physical actress and roars into the start of the show. Her singing steals the show, and Stephen K. Amos, who plays Eliza’s father Alfred, is surprisingly musical. Amos has wonderful timing with jokes due to his prior work in comedy. Professor Higgins is played by Harry Hadden-Paton, who brings new, fresh energy to the professor.
Malcolm Sinclair as Colonel Pickering and Dame Vanessa Redgrave as Mrs. Higgins are some of the notable supporting cast members. Sharif Afifi is cast as Freddy, Eliza’s love interest, and exudes enthusiasm and affection. Altogether, the vocal performance of the entire cast is wonderful.
The venue: The grandeur that is The London Coliseum is the perfect venue for a long-awaited return of such an iconic musical production. Micheal Yeargan’s sets fill the stage and appear larger than life, while Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s scores ring throughout The Coliseum.
The music: The 36-piece strong English National Opera Orchestra makes its presence known in The London Coliseum. I Could Have Danced All Night was my stand-out number in the show, bringing jovial energy to the stage. Afifi’s energy shined through during On The Street Where You Live, arguably being the best musical number of the night.
Choreography, staging, and direction: Christopher Gattelli choreographs the stage beautifully, capturing your attention from every angle. In addition, Catherine Zuber’s costumes are the real showstoppers. Always stylish, Zuber’s costumes never feel out of place from incredible-sized hats to Eliza’s shimmering ballgown.
What makes this production different: This production of My Fair Lady stays true to the integrity of the story while implementing new ideas and elements of race and class. Eliza is portrayed with a greater depth, and many of her insecurities are unravelled throughout. The production is quite a brilliant approach for 2022.
To book tickets, visit eno.org
My Fair Lady at The London Coliseum runs until 27 August 2022.
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All imagery courtesy of Marc Brenner.