By Bernard Shaw
Directed by Sam Pritchard
Designed by Alex Lowde
Sound Design by Ben and Max Ringham
Lighting by Jack Knowles
Projection designs by Will Duke
West Yorkshire Playhouse, Courtyard Theatre
Press Night Wed 8 February, 7.45pm
Saturday 4 – Saturday 25 February 2017
‘The science of speech. That’s my profession. I can place any man within six miles. I can place him within two miles in London. Sometimes within two streets.’
How far do accents define us? Is status still dictated by our mother tongue?
Sam Pritchard directs a radical new staging of Bernard Shaw’s acute comedy Pygmalion, a hilarious and poignant tale of two opposites, Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle, trying to find a common language.
Pygmalion is a co-production between West Yorkshire Playhouse, Headlong and Nuffield Southampton Theatres. It will open to press in Leeds before travelling to Warwick, Liverpool, Leicester, Cheltenham, Bath, Oxford, and finishing at the Nuffield Southampton Theatres.
The full cast is Alex Beckett (Henry Higgins), Ian Burfield (Alfred Doolittle), Gavi Singh Chera (Freddy Eynsford Hill), Flaminia Cinque (Mrs Pearce/Mrs Eynsford-Hill), Natalie Gavin (Eliza Doolittle), Racheal Ofori (Clara Eynsford-Hill), Liza Sadovy (Mrs Higgins), Raphael Sowole (Colonel Pickering).
Natalie Gavin who plays Eliza trained in Drama at Huddersfield University, while Ian Burfield who plays Alfred Doolittle performed as Magwitch in Great Expectations at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2016.
Shaw’s celebrated play was first staged over 100 years ago and is recognised as one of the most enduring and perceptive of comedies. In this audacious new staging, Sam Pritchard playfully carves a contemporary world on stage using sound and video technology which examines class identity and questions how far accents and speech can define us in Britain today.
Sam Pritchard is the Associate Director (International) at the Royal Court and was winner of the JMK Award for Directors in 2012. His credits include Anna (Aix Opera Festival/ENOA Workshop), There Has Possibly Been An Incident (Royal Exchange and Edinburgh St Stephens/Soho Theatre/Berlin Theatertreffen), Buy Nothing Day (Company of Angels), Fireface (Young Vic) and Galka Motalka (Royal Exchange). He will be directing Guillermo Calderon’s play B for the Royal Court in September 2017.
Pygmalion continues Headlong’s progressive work with emerging directors, giving a director in the early stages of their career the opportunity to present work on main stages across the country. This programme has previously supported work from Simon Godwin, Natalie Abrahami, Robert Icke, Blanche McIntyre, Ben Kidd and Ellen McDougall. This is the third year that West Yorkshire Playhouse has partnered with Headlong, following their acclaimed co-productions of Spring Awakening in 2014 and The Glass Menagerie in 2015.
Natalie Gavin plays Eliza. Natalie is a well-known actress from stage and screen. Her theatre credits include Mermaid (Shared Experience/Tour), Bracken Moor (Tricycle), The Crucible (Old Vic) and Shirley (Hope Mill Theatre). Her many television roles include Jericho (ITV), The Syndicate (BBC), Prisoners Wives (BBC), The Chase (BBC) and Shameless (Channel 4). Film credits include Hector, Jasmine and The Arbor.
Alex Beckett plays Henry Higgins. Alex’s stage credits include Edward II (National Theatre), Praxis Makes Perfect (National Theatre of Wales), The Changeling (Young Vic), Life for Beginners (Theatre 503), Here (Rose Theatre Kingston) and Much Ado About Nothing (Wyndhams Theatre). Television credits include Love Nina (BBC), Cuffs (BBC), WIA (BBC), I Live With Models (Comedy Central) and Twenty Twelve (BBC). Radio credits includes Tracks on BBC Radio 4.
Liza Sadovy plays Mrs Higgins. Liza’s stage credits include Wicked (Apollo Theatre), Oliver (Sheffield Theatre), And Then The Dark (New Wolsey), A Separate Reality (Royal Court), Alice in Wonderland (Theatre Royal Northampton), La Bete (Comedy Theatre & Music Box Theatre NY), Annie Get Your Gun (Young Vic), The Good Soul of Szechuan (Young Vic) and Sunday In the Park with George (Wyndham’s Theatre). Television credits include Babylon, The Honourable Woman, Extras, The Sarah Jane Adventures and Midsomer Murders.
Ian Burfield plays Alfred Doolittle. Ian’s stage credits include Floyd Collins (Wilton Music Hall), Great Expectations (West Yorkshire Playhouse), All My Sons (Theatre Clwyd) Dealer’s Choice (Royal & Derngate/Oxford Playhouse), One Man Two Guvnors (National Theatre), A Comedy of Errors (National Theatre), The Kitchen (NT) and Major Barbara (NT). Television credits include Holby City (BBC), Humans (Channel 4), Tennison (ITV) and Call the Midwife (BBC). Film credits include The Selfish Giant, V is For Vendetta, The Confession and The Krays.
Flaminia Cinque plays Mrs Pearce/Mrs Eynsford-Hill. Her stage credits include Martyr (Unicorn/ATC), The Winslow Boy (Octagon), Measure for Measure (Almeida), Portrait of a Lady (Peter Hall Company), Push Up (Royal Court) and More Grimm Tales (Young Vic). Television credits include The Moonstone (BBC), New Tricks (BBC) and Ashes to Ashes (BBC).
Raphael Sowole plays Colonel Pickering. His stage credits include the title role in Hamlet for Black Theatre Live. Measure for Measure (Young Vic), The Calm (RSC), They Drink it in the Congo (Almeida), The Merchant of Venice (Almeida) and Tis Pity She’s A Whore (Cheek by Jowl). Television credits include Black Mirror Special, Edge of Heaven and Youngers. Film credits include Bastille Day and Starred Up.
Gavi Singh Chera plays Freddy Eynsford Hill. His stage credits include Behind the Beautiful Forevers (National Theatre) and We Are Here (NT).
Racheal Ofori plays Clara Eynsford-Hill. Her stage credits include Romeo and Juliet (Kenneth Brannagh Company), This is Private Property (Camden People’s Theatre), The Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare’s Globe) and Portrait (Camden People’s Theatre and Tour).