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Pygmalion at The Abbey

Writing.ie | Guest Bloggers | From the Front Row

ERMurray

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While Elizabeth Murray was on her way to the fabulous Listowel Writers Week, I popped along to The Abbey to catch their new production of George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion” and bring you the view ‘From the Front Row’. Directed by Annabelle Comyn, Risteard Cooper and Charlie Murphy were in the title roles of Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle. The production was a brilliant display of shrewd and wonderfully designed sets and perfectly tailored costumes that both assisted in making the play an incredibly fashionable and beautiful sight to behold. Expertly designed with considerable thought to sophisticated taste, style and class made me realise that there is indeed a reason that The Abbey is our National theatre and this is a play for those who appreciate the finer things.

Risteard Cooper made a delightfully smug and arrogant Higgins. He was indeed the star of the show, his delivery flawless and his comic timing perfect. Charlie Murphy was magnetic as Eliza, suitably shrill and awkward as this “guttersnipe” but also empathically moving as the young, beautiful woman coming of age. Grace and elegance glowed from the stage and indeed from her performance. A terrific and skilled supporting cast provided some wonderfully light-hearted moments.

I can’t recall a play I have been to in recent months or over the last year even where I felt I was wholeheartedly being transported entirely to another time. On a rather murky, windy and rainy Monday evening, tension in the city high due to transport problems with Obama’s visit, there was no better way to feel myself like a lady, having a drink at the bar upstairs and letting the talents of these actors and creatives express the marvel of Shaw’s masterpiece.

Peter O’Brien’s costumes were simply breathtaking. The moment Eliza stepped out in that dreamy white dress into the soft light next to the piano was incredibly cinematic. You could hear the collective gasp around the theatre in awe of this visual treat. Divine would be the one word I’d use to describe the night as a whole.

So before it ends on June 11th, book a ticket, go and feast upon the sumptious delight that is Pygmalion at The Abbey.

Rioghnach Ni Ghrioghair.

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