Minack Hosts ‘Pygmalion’ – Shaw’s Version of the ‘X Factor’!

June 25, 2014
As Eliza (Rachel Fenwick) sells her flowers in Covent Garden, Professor Higgins (Steve Drowley) and Colonel Pickering (Wayne Fenton) are listening in. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

As Eliza (Rachel Fenwick) sells her flowers in Covent Garden, Professor Higgins (Steve Drowley) and Colonel Pickering (Wayne Fenton) are listening in. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Anyone who enjoys TV shows like The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent will see that George Bernard Shaw got there first in his 1912 play Pygmalion, which formed the basis of the hit musical My Fair Lady.

The playwright anticipates the pleasures and dangers of taking the dreams of a working class girl and attempting to transform her into a star in the latest production by Newport Playgoers Society when it returns to the Minack Theatre from 7 – 11 July.

Housekeeper Mrs Pearce (Claudia Barnes) announces the arrival of dustman Alfred Doolittle (Richard Dymond) (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Housekeeper Mrs Pearce (Claudia Barnes) announces the arrival of dustman Alfred Doolittle (Richard Dymond) (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

“Eliza Doolittle’s wish is modest by today’s ambitions – she wants to be a lady with a flower shop,” says the play’s director Kevin Myers.

“So phonetics professor Henry Higgins admits her to his version of boot camp where she is scrubbed, clothed and subjected to intensive lessons in diction.

“For Higgins and his friend Colonel Pickering it’s an irresistible experiment – to teach Cockney flower girl Eliza to speak and act like a lady and pass her off as a duchess at an ambassador’s garden party. But for Eliza it’s a lifeline.”

Eliza chats to a real lady Mrs Eynsford Hill (Chris Burrows) (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Eliza chats to a real lady Mrs Eynsford Hill (Chris Burrows) (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Newport Playgoers have a well-earned reputation for staging outstanding productions and their last play at the Minack, Moliere’s ‘The Hypochondriac’, received rave reviews.

‘Pygmalion’ is at the Minack Theatre from Monday 7 to Friday 11 July. To book tickets call the Box Office on 01736 810181 or visit www.minack.com.

Advertisements

Pygmalion – Shaw to Please ‘X Factor’ Fans

May 27, 2014
As Eliza (Rachel Fenwick) sells her flowers in Covent Garden, Professor Higgins (Steve Drowley) and Colonel Pickering (Wayne Fenton) are listening in. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

As Eliza (Rachel Fenwick) sells her flowers in Covent Garden, Professor Higgins (Steve Drowley) and Colonel Pickering (Wayne Fenton) are listening in. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Anyone who enjoys TV shows like The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent will see that George Bernard Shaw got there first in his 1912 play Pygmalion, which formed the basis of the hit musical My Fair Lady.

The playwright anticipates the pleasures and dangers of taking the dreams of a working class girl and attempting to transform her into a star in this latest production by Newport Playgoers.

When Eliza (Rache Fenwick) is transformed into a lady she has many admirers including Freddie Eynsford Hill (Tyron Davies Sullivan) (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

When Eliza (Rache Fenwick) is transformed into a lady she has many admirers including Freddie Eynsford Hill (Tyron Davies Sullivan) (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

“Eliza Doolittle’s wish is modest by today’s ambitions – she wants to be a lady with a flower shop,” says the play’s director Kevin Myers. “So phonetics professor Henry Higgins admits her to his version of boot camp where she is scrubbed, clothed and subjected to intensive lessons in diction.

“For Higgins and his friend Colonel Pickering it’s an irresistible experiment – to teach Cockney flower girl Eliza to speak and act like a lady and pass her off as a duchess at an ambassador’s garden party. But for Eliza it’s a lifeline.”

The transformation from Cockney flower girl to well-spoken lady is complete. Rachel Fenwick as Eliza Doolittle. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

The transformation from Cockney flower girl to well-spoken lady is complete. Rachel Fenwick as Eliza Doolittle. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Higgins clearly sees Eliza, at least at first, as a human trophy he can add to his collection of professional triumphs, but when the end result produces a very ladylike Miss Doolittle, the lessons learned become much more far reaching. The successful musical My Fair Lady was based on this Bernard Shaw classic.

‘Pygmalion’ is at the Dolman Theatre from Wednesday 11 to Saturday 14 June at 7.15 pm, with an extra matinee performance on the Saturday at 2.30 pm. To book tickets call 01633 263670 or visit www.dolmantheatre.co.uk.

This production will also be going to the marvellous open air Minack Theatre in Cornwall in July.


Only Boys Aloud Singer Dan is First to Receive New Theatre Award

July 30, 2012

A prestigious new award which recognises outstanding contribution to theatre by a young adult was presented to Only Boys Aloud singer Daniel Hampton at Newport Playgoers Society’s AGM. The Jonathan Conick Award commemorates a much-loved member of Playgoers who lost his battle with cancer three years ago, aged just 29.

Dan Hampton wins first Jonathan Conic Award

Daniel Hampton receives the Jonathan Conick Award from Jonathan’s sister, Hayley.
(PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Jonathon Conick

Jonathan Conick, a much-loved member of Newport Playgoers, lost his battle with cancer three years ago, aged just 29. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Announcing the award, Playgoers’ Vice-President, Bruce Campbell, said, “Jonathan was involved in a wide range of activities at the Dolman Theatre, playing a variety of roles in youth theatre and going on to be a driving force in the creation of the Solo Group for young adult members. He played an active part in many aspects of play production, both onstage and off, culminating in winning the coveted Webley Prize for his performance in ‘Strangers on a Train’ in 2006.”

Jonathan’s sister, Hayley, presented the prize to 19-year-old Daniel for the enormous contribution he has made to the Dolman Theatre. Last season alone Daniel was stage manager on ‘Hi-De-Hi’, assistant director on ‘St. Trinian’s’, ran the lights on the thriller ‘Dead Guilty’, ran sound for the No Holds Bard festival of four one act plays at the Dolman and Blackwood Little Theatre –  and even helped run the Dolman Theatre bar. All this whilst appearing with Only Boys Aloud on ITV’s ‘Britain’s Got Talent’.

Jonathon Conick in 'Strangers on a Train'

Jonathan won the coveted Webley Award for his portrayal of the psychotic Bruno in ‘Strangers on a Train’. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

“This is a great honour and it’s amazing to be the first winner of this new, prestigious award,” said Daniel who was recently accepted to study Theatre Production and Design at Trinity St David’s University, Carmarthen.

“Dan is a very worthy first winner of this award and we’re absolutely thrilled to make this happen,” said Hayley Conick at the presentation, “Jonathan loved the theatre so much, it was a huge part of his life which is why this award recognises not just acting but being active in all areas of theatre.”

Newport Playgoers are currently preparing for the start of an exciting new season which includes ‘Dad’s Army’, ‘Calendar Girls’ and ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’. The new season opens with Noel Coward’s witty supernatural comedy ‘Blithe Spirit’ on 12th September. To find out more information and book tickets call the Dolman Theatre box office on 01633 263670 or visit www.dolmantheatre.co.uk.