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Brisbane review - My Fair Lady: nothing short of sensational

By David Wilson


Book and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner

Music by Frederick Loewe

Production Director Deian Ping

Musical Director Julie Whiting

Choreographer Bec Swain

Brought to you by Queensland Musical

Performance run from Fri 14 Jun - Sun 23 Jun 2024

Tickets ranging from $44 to $66

Twelfth Night Theatre


Adapted from George Bernard Shaw’s play and Gabriel Pascal’s motion picture, Lerner and Loewe’s award-winning story of Eliza Doolittle, a cockney flower girl transformed into an elegant lady, is widely considered one of the greatest musicals of all time.When Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady opened on Broadway, it collected six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, while the film version took home eight Oscars, including Best Picture. My Fair Lady is a musical classic by which others are measured, featuring one of musical theatre’s greatest scores, Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?,With a Little Bit of Luck, I Could Have Danced All Night, On the Street Where You Live and Get Me to the Church on Time.The excellent creative team at Queensland Musical Theatre have done a magnificent job of capturing the dazzling world of Edwardian London with this 40th anniversary production, featuring lavish costumes, stunning choreography, a magnificent orchestra and a large cast of very talented and accomplished performers. Deian Ping, Julie Whiting and Bec Swain have confidently delivered this well-known and large scale classic to a vocal and appreciative audience.

As is typical of a Queensland Musical Theatre production, the orchestra was outstanding, as was the simple but very effective set which gave full licence to the large cast, allowing the excellent choreography and, in particular, the magnificent costuming to be showcased. While there were a few sound issues on opening night, the high quality and professionalism of the cast ensured that this did not detract from the performance.

While the very large cast of over 40 talented actors was strong across the board, the lead actors were nothing short of sensational.

Kirra Lang was perfect as Eliza Doolittle, the wilful cockney flower girl who is transformed into an elegant lady of society. Lang’s characterisation wonderfully captured Eliza’s inner flame and her ability to portray the character’s evolution through both vocal and physical means, while simultaneously developing Eliza’s relationships and emotions, was remarkable. Her accent work throughout was impeccable, and her vocals were flawless. Her performances of the iconic “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” and “I Could Have Danced All Night” were outstanding. Lang is a confident and captivating leading lady.

James Lennox was outstanding as Professor Henry Higgins, the epitome of a British upper-class professional batchelor. In what is an extremely demanding role, Lennox did not miss a beat and a highlight was his nuanced character development throughout. It is through Lennox’s portrayal that the audience simultaneously sides with Eliza while warming to Higgins - no mean feat given the character’s provocative sense of entitlement. His acting excellence was matched by his vocal performance, particularly showcased in Why Can’t the English, I’m an Ordinary Man and the emotional I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face.

David McLaughlin was wonderful as the impeccably well-mannered Colonel Pickering. McLaughlin portrayal was very well received by the audience. He expertly captured Pickering’s warmth and empathy while allowing the character to lose himself to the excitement of ‘the project’. McLaughlin’s excellent use of physicality and comedic timing were on show throughout, and his chemistry with Lang and Lennox was obvious in The Rain In Spain.

It is a very strong cast when the leads are supported by performers of the calibre of Jordan Ross (as Alfred P Doolittle) and Lachlan Dodd (as Freddy Eynsford-Hill). Ross performed with gusto throughout, and his energetic performances of With a Little Bit of Luck and Get Me To The Church On Time were audience favourites. Dodd captured the essence of the smitten romantic, and his performance of  On the Street Where You Live was excellent.

There were also some notable moments from Kristie Rabbit as Mrs Pearce and Fiona Buchanan as Mrs Higgins, whose timing and delivery was on point.

With the help of a large, talented and committed cast, the experienced production team at Queensland Musical Theatre have delivered a most enjoyable 40th anniversary production of My Fair Lady and I encourage you to see it.






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