How do you revive GB Shaw’s 1912 drama in an era in which attitudes towards women and gender are vastly different than they were in the Edwardian age? That’s the issue that will be facing director Richard Jones in this revival. He should be amply aided by the fact that flower girl Eliza Doolittle will be played by Pasty Ferran, the most electrifying of actors, and the arrogant Henry Higgins, who places a bet that he can get her to pass as a lady, is Bertie Carvel. That’s dream casting, but nonetheless, there will be curiosity about how the play, which was inspired by Greek myth and itself inspired the musical My Fair Lady, will be read by contemporary audiences. After all, we are now much more likely to question the idea of a woman being shaped by a man. But that may be usefully employed in a play in which Eliza’s agency or lack of it and the gains and losses that accrue are part of the weft and weave of the action.
Bertie Carvel (The 47th, The Crown) and Patsy Ferran (A Streetcar Named Desire, Camp Siegfried) will star in Pygmalion, directed by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Richard Jones (Endgame, Katya Kabanova). The Olivier Award-winning pair return to The Old Vic in this much-loved classic, with Bertie Carvel as the eccentric egotistical linguist Professor Henry Higgins and Patsy Ferran as Eliza Doolittle, the indomitable Covent Garden flower girl with grander aspirations. 'Ferran is one of the very best actors out there' Time Out, Camp Siegfried 'Bertie Carvel is remarkable' Sunday Times, the 47th Pygmalion will be the first show of The Old Vic's 2023-2024 season. Full casting and creatives to be announced. Age recommendation: 12+