Review: My Fair Lady, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, January 2023

Review: My Fair Lady, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, January 2023

By Catherine Collins

I’m not sure about the rain falling in Spain, but we’ve certainly had our fair share in Southampton this week, although it did stop just before I made my way to the opening night of My Fair Lady at Mayflower Theatre this evening (12 January 2023).

Which was good, because nothing could dampen this show – it really is amazing!

My Fair Lady tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a “proper lady”.

Two-time Olivier Award nominee Michael D. Xavier was brilliant as the slightly chauvinistic Henry Higgins, in a performance that was both comedic and emotive, and his talent and stage presence was a joy to watch.

Charlotte Kennedy was as equally outstanding as the much-loved Eliza Doolittle, instantly making the role her own. Her powerful portrayal was astonishing and she captivated the audience in every scene she was in, especially when she sang Wouldn’t It Be Loverly and I Could Have Danced All Night.

Adam Woodyatt plays the role of Eliza’s father, Alfred P Doolittle, and although a supporting role, he has a larger than life character and it takes an impressive performer to play the role to its full capability – Woodyatt manages with ease.

The rest of the cast are also impressive, from John Middleton’s Colonel Pickering, Heather Jackson’s Mrs Higgins, Lesley Garrett’s Mrs Pearce and Tom Liggin’s adorable Freddy Eynsford-Hill.

Michael Yeargan’s set designs are elaborate (probably the best I’ve seen on the Mayflower stage) and yet work seamlessly – smoothly transitioning from one scene to another, and Catherine Zuber’s costumes transform us into a world of Victorian Dress and finery rarely seen on stage in touring productions.

From the leads through to the ensemble, the casting in this production is perfect and the orchestra is divine – the standing ovation was very much deserved.

My Fair Lady runs until Sunday 29 January 2023, tickets available from: or 02380 711811.

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