The Wallace High School Drama Society staged “Pygmalion” by George Bernard Shaw last week, enjoying capacity crowds for every performance. The social comedy, written almost 100 years ago, was the inspiration for the film and musical “My Fair Lady” starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison.
The Wallace cast, aged 12 – 18, had been rehearsing for several months and their hard work certainly paid off in their polished performances.
Upper Sixth pupils Kerri Anne Troughton and Gareth Stewart took the lead roles as the ambitious flower seller Eliza Doolittle and her domineering professor Henry Higgins. Director Gillian McGarry was delighted with their performances, ” Kerri Anne and Gareth worked very well together . Kerri Anne handled her transformation from “cockney guttersnipe” to “duchess” with great maturity and Gareth captured the complexity of Higgins’ character perfectly, balancing his explosive temper with his softer, lonely side.
They were ably supported by the other cast members, each of whom had an incredible amount of script to learn. GB Shaw is known for his witty wordplay and circumlocution – I’m happy to say that the Wallace pupils did Shaw proud. Lauren Troughton’s portrayal of the dustman Alfred Doolittle was the epitome of Shavian comedy.
Many of the audience have commented on how the Embassy Party was a highlight of the play – recent productions in the Gate Theatre in Dublin and the Albery in London have completely omitted this challenging scene but we decided to include it. Fourteen Fifth Years, chorepgraphed by pupils Richard Hunter and Jan Robinson, added greatly to the atmosphere with their ballroom dancing providing a perfect backdrop for Eliza’s successful entry to a society ball.”
Friends, families and staff were amongst those who enjoyed the play. Gillian added, “I was delighted that English Literature and Drama students from several schools including The High School Ballynahinch and Crumlin High came along. I’d like to thank the parents and staff who helped in so many ways with the production. Our backstage crew was very efficient and diligent and contributed a great deal to the smooth running of the show. However final mention must go to the cast who have been a pleasure to work with – their talent, energy and dedication have been truly inspiring.”
Last modified: February 24, 2016