Thursday, July 17, 2008
The West End Whingers were slightly premature in their praise for the apparently newly-oiled seats at the Old Vic. My seat last night was as squeaky as an annoyed bat – however, Peter Hall’s production of Pygmalion was so good this minor irritation evaporated. And the seat itself was in the distinctly posh part of the auditorium – the poshest I’ve ever been at the Old Vic (6th row central, stalls, no less).
I’m glad I shelled out, because the production and performances were so beautifully detailed it was wonderful to be able to appreciate them all close-up, as it were. The “Not bloody likely” scene was side-splittingly funny: Eliza’s (Michelle Dockery) partially-transformed accent got spontaneous applause mid-way through.
This was a belt-and-braces properly traditional production – down to real rain and a real taxi on stage. However, so intelligently done it was a tremendous pleasure. My doubts about Shaw were quite quelled.