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.

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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.


Sherlock Holmes Confronts Horror in Theatreland

February 11, 2014
Sherlock Holmes (James Reynolds) and Dr Watson (James Symonds) prepare to investigate. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Sherlock Holmes (James Reynolds) and Dr Watson (James Symonds) prepare to investigate. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

There’s a killer on the loose in the West End of fog-shrouded Victorian London. Aspiring playwright George Bernard Shaw decides it’s a case for celebrated sleuth Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr Watson to investigate.

Inspector Lestrade (Richard Dymond) points the way for a young copper (Aidan Thomas) (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Inspector Lestrade (Richard Dymond) points the way for a young copper (Aidan Thomas) (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

In ‘Sherlock Holmes and the West End Horror’, Playgoers New Generation (PNG) present a cavalcade of famous names from the era. Oscar Wilde, Gilbert and Sullivan, Bram Stoker and a young H.G. Wells all fall under suspicion when a despised theatre critic is brutally murdered.

Oscar Wilde (Ryan Salter) entertains Bosie (Aidan Thomas) and his friend Hopkins (Tim Hawken) (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Oscar Wilde (Ryan Salter) entertains Bosie (Aidan Thomas) and his friend Hopkins (Tim Hawken) (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

The game’s afoot as Holmes and Watson pursue the killer in this rollickingly funny whodunnit – and come face to face with their own celebrity.

This latest production by PNG follows on from their highly successful adaptation of ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ and features many familiar faces.

Mrs Hudson (Ann Kelly) listens as Holmes (James Reynolds) plays his violin. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Mrs Hudson (Ann Kelly) listens as Holmes (James Reynolds) plays his violin. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

“We try to be inclusive in PNG,” said founder member James Reynolds who plays Sherlock. “So as well as younger people we have guest appearances by some of Playgoers’ finest actors such as Richard Dymond, Ann Kelly and Graeme Johnson, all of whom will be well known to regulars at the Dolman Theatre.

The cream of London society enjoy the opening night of a new play - not realising a killer is on the loose. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

The cream of London society enjoy the opening night of a new play – not realising a killer is on the loose. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

“This play is a very witty take on the Sherlock Holmes stories which we’re sure audiences will find intriguing and highly entertaining.”

‘Sherlock Holmes and the West End Horror’ by Anthony Dodge and Marcia Milgrom Dodge is at the Dolman Theatre from 6  – 7  March at 7.15 pm, with a matinee performance on Saturday 8  March at 2.30 pm. To book tickets call 01633 263670 or visit www.dolmantheatre.co.uk.

The play is presented by special arrangement with Playscripts.Inc.

Inspector Lestrade (Richard Dymond) and Dr Eccles (Graeme Johnson) examine murder victim Jessie Rutland (Rachel Fenwick) (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

Inspector Lestrade (Richard Dymond) and Dr Eccles (Graeme Johnson) examine murder victim Jessie Rutland (Rachel Fenwick) (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)


Playgoers Announce 90th Season of Plays

July 3, 2013
Newport Playgoers' 90th Season

Newport Playgoers’ 90th Season

Newport Playgoers have announced the plays that will make up their 90th Season.

Featuring an innovative mix of comedy and drama, the new season begins with ‘The 39 Steps’ at the Dolman Theatre in September.

Playgoers are always keen to recruit  new members, not only onstage but also to help behind the scenes with lighting, sound, wardrobe, props and scenery.