A fair way for society to celebrate 100

My Fair Lady @ King's Lynn Corn Exchange

My Fair Lady @ King's Lynn Corn Exchange


A talented cast brought to life this well-known rags to riches story with a memorable performance fit for a centenary celebration.

The Kings Lynn Operatic and Dramatic Society is this year marking 100 years of providing entertainment in the area and the society could have chosen no finer show with which to celebrate — the famous Lerner and Lowe classic currently being revived at London's Royal National Theatre.

It is a musical that has it all: show-stopping numbers – Wouldn't It Be Lovely, With a Little Bit of Luck, Ascot Gavotte to name a few – dance, romance, humour and a strong feel-good factor.

Director Liz Dickerson and choreographer Trina Penman drew all these elements together to create a first-class show which moved at a cracking pace, one slick scene-change following another.

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Marnie Barbsy was a joy in the demanding leading role of flower girl Eliza Doolittle, switching her Cockney accent to that of a society lady as she is given speech tuition Prof Henry Higgins.

The audience were captivated by the charm and her voice particularly in The Rain in Spain and I Could Have Danced All Night.

David Lilley added to his impressive catalogue of character parts in the Higgins role made famous on screen by Rex Harrison.

It was a finely-drawn portrayal with just the right mix of mood and nuance to create the figure of the confirmed bachelor whose heart is melted by his pretty pupil.

Miss Barsby and Mr Lilley played opposite each other wonderfully to create a partnership that the audience delighted in watching.

They were ably supported by the talented John West as Eliza's father, Alfred P Doolittle and his singing and dancing in Get Me to the Church on Time was a delight.

Promising young actor and singer Tom Clarke was well cast in the role of the foppish Freddie Eynsford-Hill who sings of his love for Eliza in, On The Street Where You Live.

The scenes for the show were painted on curtains which could be pulled across the stage to allow for slick scene changes which, combined with effective lighting, created just the right atmosphere of period London.

The music for this show is so well-known that people were singing along to the overture numbers in an orchestration, conducted by Samantha Ashy, which provided fine accompaniment to the players on stage.

The group aimed high for its centenary production and it paid off handsomely. The cast well deserved the warm applause.

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