Pygmalion

Play by George Bernard Shaw. Egocentric Professor of Phonetics Henry Higgins makes a bet with his friend, the amiable Colonel Pickering, that he can transform the manners and speech of Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle and pass her off as a lady in society. George Bernard Shaw's ever-entertaining dramatic tour de force is a provocative assault on the sexual politics, educational limitations and class structure of his day. But peppered with his trademark wit and classic style, it is also beguilingly funny.

The play premiered in London's West End at His Majesty's Theatre on Saturday 11 April 1914, since when it has been regularly revived. It also provided the story for the musical My Fair Lady.

1914: Herbert Tree and Mrs Patrick Campbell

1920: C Aubrey Smith and Mrs Patrick Campbell

1927: Esme Percy and Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies

1929: Esme Percy and Margaret Macdona

1931: Esme Percy and Margaret Macdona

1935: Esme Percy and Margaret Rawlings

1937: Robert Morley and Diana Wynyard

1939: Basil Sydney and Margaret Rawlings

1944: Michael Golden and Ellen Pollock

1947: Alec Clunes and Brenda Bruce

1953: John Clements and Kay Hammond

1974: Alec McCowen and Diana Rigg

1980: Donald Pickering and Paula Wilcox

1981: David Henry and Lesley-Anne Down

1981: Richard Easton and Lorraine Chase

1984: Peter O'Toole and Jackie Smith-Wood

1992: Alan Howard and Frances Barber

1997: Roy Marsden and Carli Norris

2008: Tim Pigott-Smith and Michelle Dockery

2011: Rupert Everett/Alistair McGowan and Kara Tointon

George Bernard Shaw's other London theatre plays include You Never Can Tell (adapted into the musical Valentine's Day), Saint Joan, and Mrs Warren's Profession.


1914: Original West End London Production with Herbert Tree and Mrs Patrick Campbell

Opened 11 April 1914, Closed 24 July 1914 at His Majesty's Theatre (now Her Majesty's Theatre)

The cast featured Herbert Tree as 'Henry Higgins', Mrs Patrick Campbell as 'Eliza Doolittle', Philip Merivale as 'Colonel Pickering', Edmund Gurney as 'Alfred Doolittle', Rosamund Mayne-Young as 'Mrs Higgins', Geraldine Olliffe as 'Mrs Pearce', Algernon Greig as 'Freddy Eynsford-Hill', Carlotta Addison as 'Mrs Eynsford-Hill', and Margaret Busse as 'Miss Clara Eynsford-Hill', with Roy Byford, Irene Delisse, and Alexander Sarner.

Directed by George Bernard Shaw.

Although Shaw had written the part of 'Eliza' for Mrs Patrick Campbell, she was initially reluctant to play the role on stage, partly because, aged 49, she considered herself 'at least 25 years to old' for the role, and also she had not played a 'low-life' character on stage before.

Unfortunately, during the run of this production, the actress Carlotta Addison died on Sunday 14 June 1914. Alma Murray took over the role of 'Mrs Eynsford-Hill'


1920: 1st West End London Revival with C Aubrey Smith and Mrs Patrick Campbell

Opened 10 February 1920, Closed 17 April 1920 at the Aldwych Theatre

The cast featured C Aubrey-Smith as 'Henry Higgins' and Mrs Patrick Campbell as 'Eliza Doolittle'.

Directed by Reginald Fry.


1927: 2nd West End Revival with Esme Percy and Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies

Opened 19 January 1927, Closed 9 February 1927 at the Kingsway Theatre (demolished)

The cast featured Esme Percy as 'Henry Higgins' and Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies as 'Eliza Doolittle'.

Directed by Esme Percy.

The Kingsway Theatre was a 560-seater theatre located at 8 Greet Queen Street, Covent Garden, now demolished to make way for an office block.


1929: London Revival with Esme Percy and Margaret Macdona

Opened 30 December 1929, Closed 4 January 1930 at the Court Theatre (now Royal Court Theatre)

The cast featured Esme Percy as 'Henry Higgins' and Margaret Macdona as 'Eliza Doolittle'.

Directed by Esme Percy.


1931: 3rd West End London Revival with Esme Percy and Margaret Macdona

Opened 4 May 1931, Closed 16 May 1931 at the Kingsway Theatre (demolished)

The cast featured Esme Percy as 'Henry Higgins' and Margaret Macdona as 'Eliza Doolittle'.

Directed by Charles Macdona.

Presented by the London Playgoers' League.

The Kingsway Theatre was a 560-seater theatre located at 8 Greet Queen Street, Covent Garden, now demolished to make way for an office block.


1935: 4th West End London Revival with Esme Percy and Margaret Rawlings

Opened 3 September 1935, Closed 24 September 1935 at the Cambridge Theatre

The cast featured Esme Percy as 'Henry Higgins' and Margaret Rawlings as 'Eliza Doolittle'.

Directed by Esme Percy.


1937: 5th West End London Revival with Robert Morley and Diana Wynyard

Opened 21 September 1937, Closed 9 October 1937 at the Old Vic Theatre

The cast featured Robert Morley as 'Henry Higgins' and Diana Wynyard as 'Eliza Doolittle'.

Directed by Tyrone Guthrie, with designs by Molly McArthur.


1939: 6th West End London Revival with Basil Sydney and Margaret Rawlings

Opened 13 June 1939, Closed 1 July 1939 at the Haymarket Theatre

The cast featured Basil Sydney as 'Henry Higgins', Margaret Rawlings as 'Eliza Doolittle', and Lewis Casson as 'Colonel Pickering'.

Directed by Campbell Gullan, with designs by Leon Davey.


1944: London Revival with Michael Golden and Ellen Pollock

Opened 12 December 1944, Closed 20 January 1945 (in repertory) at the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith

The cast featured Michael Golden as 'the Notetaker' ('Henry Higgins') and Ellen Pollock as 'the Flower Girl' (Eliza Doolittle').

Directed by Ellen Pollock and Michael Golden, with designs by Riette Sturge Moore.


1947: London Revival with Alec Clunes and Brenda Bruce

Opened 18 June 1947, Closed 12 July 1947 at the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith

The cast featured Alec Clunes as 'Henry Higgins' and Brenda Bruce as 'Eliza Doolittle'.

Directed by Peter Ashmore, with designs by Kathleen Ankers.

Presented by the 'Company of Four'.


1953: 7th West End London revival with John Clements and Kay Hammond

Opened 19 November 1953, Closed 3 April 1954 at the St James's Theatre (now demolished)

The cast featured John Clements as 'Henry Higgins', Kay Hammond as 'Eliza Doolittle', Nicholas Hannen as 'Colonel Pickering', Charles Victor as 'Alfred Doolittle', Athene Seyler as 'Mrs Higgins', Nuna Davey as 'Mrs Pearce', Robert Beaumont as 'Freddy Eynsford-Hill', Susan Richmond as 'Mrs Eynsford-Hill', and Clare Bradley as 'Miss Clara Eynsford-Hill', with Patrick Brawn, Peter Diamond, Harry Fine, Joan Forrest, Mary Neve, Phyllis Relph, and D Gideon Thomson.

Directed by John Clements, with sets by Laurence Irving, and costumes by Elizabeth Haffenden.


1974: 8th West End London Revival with Alec McCowen and Diana Rigg

Previewed 9 May 1974, Opened 16 May 1974, Closed 16 November 1974 at the Albery Theatre (now Noel Coward Theatre)

The cast featured Alec McCowen as 'Henry Higgins', Diana Rigg as 'Eliza Doolittle', Jack May as 'Colonel Pickering', Bob Hoskins as 'Alfred Doolittle', Hilda Fenemore as 'Mrs Higgins', Ellen Pollock as 'Mrs Pearce', Anthony Naylor as 'Freddy Eynsford-Hill', Margaret Ward as 'Mrs Eynsford-Hill', and Sarah Atkinson as 'Miss Clara Eynsford-Hill', with Dennis Handby, Simon MacCorkindale, and Melaine Peck.

Directed by John Dexter, with designs by Jocelyn Herbert and Andrew Sanders, and lighting by Andy Phillips.


1980: London Revival with Donald Pickering and Paula Wilcox

Previewed 6 May 1980, Opened 7 May 1980, Closed 21 June 1980 at the Shaw Theatre

The cast featured Donald Pickering as 'Henry Higgins', Paula Wilcox as 'Eliza Doolittle', Brian Oulton as 'Colonel Pickering', Arthur Cox as 'Alfred Doolittle', Sylvia Barter as 'Mrs Higgins', Rachel Thomas as 'Mrs Pearce', James Simmons as 'Freddy Eynsford-Hill', Hilda Schroder as 'Mrs Eynsford-Hill', and Sian Thomas as 'Miss Clara Eynsford-Hill', with Alexander Archdale, Kate Buffery, Norman Gay, Ida Goldapple, Antony Howes, Peter Lennon, Christine Sheldon-Williams, and Michael Wilcox.

Directed by David William, with designs by Mark Negin, and lighting by Robert Bryan.

Presented by the Shaw Theatre Company (formerly The Dolphin Company).


1981: London Revival with David Henry and Lesley-Anne Down

Previewed 22 January 1981, Opened 28 January 1981, Closed 18 April 1981 (in repertory) at the Young Vic Theatre

The cast featured Donald Eccles as 'George Bernard Shaw'/'Mrs Pearce', David Henry as 'Henry Higgins', Lesley-Anne Down as 'Eliza Doolittle', Tim Seely as 'Colonel Pickering', C J Allen as 'Alfred Doolittle', Judy Campbell as 'Mrs Higgins', Tim Thomas as 'Freddy Eynsford-Hill', Joanna Wake as 'Mrs Eynsford-Hill', and Anthea Cooper as 'Miss Clara Eynsford-Hill', with Michael Rodden, and Andrew Wheaton.

Directed by Denise Coffey, with sets by Carl Toms, costumes by Bob Ringwood, lighting by John B Read, and sound by Simon Goss.

Based on Shaw's own script for the 1938 film version. This stage production included 'George Bernard Shaw' as a 'narrator'.


1981: London Revival with Richard Easton and Lorraine Chase

Opened 18 August 1981, Closed 29 August 1981 at the Young Vic Theatre

The cast featured David Dodimead as 'George Bernard Shaw'/'Mrs Pearce', Richard Easton as 'Henry Higgins', Lorraine Chase as 'Eliza Doolittle', Sebastian Breaks as 'Colonel Pickering', Stephen Lewis as 'Alfred Doolittle', Betty Marsden as 'Mrs Higgins', Tim Thomas as 'Freddy Eynsford-Hill', Judy Wilson as 'Mrs Eynsford-Hill', and Anthea Cooper as 'Miss Clara Eynsford-Hill', with Peter Stockbridge, and Andrew Wheaton.

Directed by Denise Coffey, with sets by Carl Toms, costumes by Bob Ringwood, lighting by Dean Williams, and sound by Simon Goss.

Re-cast revival of January 1981 production, based on Shaw's own script for the 1938 film version. This stage production included 'George Bernard Shaw' as a 'narrator'.


1984: 9th West End London Revival with Peter O'Toole and Jackie Smith-Wood

Previewed 10 May 1984, Opened 15 May 1984, Closed 7 July 1984 at the Shaftesbury Theatre

The cast featured Peter O'Toole as 'Henry Higgins', Jackie Smith-Wood as 'Eliza Doolittle', Jack Watling as 'Colonel Pickering', John Thaw as 'Alfred Doolittle', Joyce Carey as 'Mrs Higgins', Rona Anderson as 'Mrs Pearce', Timothy Ackroyd as 'Freddy Eynsford-Hill', Barbara Murray as 'Mrs Eynsford-Hill', and Amanda Prior as 'Miss Clara Eynsford-Hill', with Jeremy Adams, Christopher Alexander, Ron Davies, Liz Digby-Smith, Kitty-Lynne Jones, Kathleen Moffatt, and Christopher Wright.

Directed by Ray Cooney, with sets by Douglas Heap and Guy Nicholson, costumes by Ann Curtis, and lighting by Charlie Paton.


1992: London Revival with Alan Howard and Frances Barber

Previewed 4 April 1992, Opened 9 April 1992, Closed 12 January 1993 (in repertory) at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre

The cast featured Alan Howard as 'Henry Higgins', Frances Barber as 'Eliza Doolittle', Robin Bailey as 'Colonel Pickering', Michael Bryant as 'Alfred Doolittle', Gillian Barge as 'Mrs Higgins', Alison Fiske as 'Mrs Pearce', Simon Coates as 'Freddy Eynsford-Hill', Polly Adams as 'Mrs Eynsford-Hill', and Hermione Norris as 'Miss Clara Eynsford-Hill', with Roger Bingham, Laura Brook, Doyne Byrd, Christopher Campbell, Martin Chamberlain, Judith Coke, William Cox, Judy Damas, Ultan Ely-O'Carroll, Gertan Klauber, Seymour Matthews, Mary Mitchell, Nick Mollo, and Theresa Petts.

Directed by Howard Davies, with choreography by Jane Gibson, designs by William Dudley, lighting by Mark Henderson, music by Dominic Muldowney, and sound by Jonathan Suffolk.


1997: 10th West End London Revival with Roy Marsden and Carli Norris

Previewed 23 July 1997, Opened 28 July 1997, Closed 4 October 1997 at the Albery Theatre (now Noel Coward Theatre)

A major revival of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion in London starring Roy Marsden and Carli Norris

The cast featured Roy Marsden as 'Henry Higgins', Carli Norris as 'Eliza Doolittle', Moray Watson as 'Colonel Pickering', Michael Elphick as 'Alfred Doolittle', Barbara Murray as 'Mrs Higgins', Marcia Warren as 'Mrs Pearce', Matthew Whittle as 'Freddy Eynsford-Hill', Jan Carey as 'Mrs Eynsford-Hill', and Deborah Cornelius as 'Miss Clara Eynsford-Hill', with Stephen Critchlow, Erinna Delaney, Mary Duddy, Philip Newman, and Adam Woodroffe.

Directed by Ray Cooney and Anne Mitchell with choreography by Hew Prail, designs by Christopher Wood, lighting by Mark Pritchard, sound by Matt McKenzie.

Roy Marsden's London theatre credits include the title role in Roger Williams' revival of Henrik Ibsen's Brand at the Aldwych Theatre in 1991.

Moray Watson's London theatre credits include the role of 'David Bliss' in Kim Grant's revival of Noel Coward's Hay Fever at the Queen's Theatre in 1983.

Marcia Warren's London theatre credits include the roles of 'Mom' in Matthew Warchus's revival of Sam Shepard's True West at the Donmar Warehouse in 1994; 'Madame Arcati' in Peter Farago's revival of Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit at the Vaudeville Theatre in 1987; and 'Vera' in Julia McKenzie's production of Richard Harris' Stepping Out at the Duke of York's Theatre in 1984.

This production was originally scheduled to be directed by Giles Havergal, but he withdrew. Anne Mitchell was then brought in as director, with Ray Cooney taking over prior to the West End opening.

Emily Lloyd was originally scheduled to make her West End debut as 'Eliza Doolittle', but she withdrew at the start of rehearsals. After a very short audition period, newly graduated RADA student Carli Norris was choosen to play the role.

"Since snobbery and social climbing remain two of England's favourite pastimes, Bernard Shaw's Edwardian romance, Pygmalion, should be stamped with a 1997 seal of approval. Its comic cuts and satirical jabs still hit home... Carli Norris, who graduated straight from Rada into Miss Lloyd's vacated role, must have left romantics hoping she would achieve the 42nd Street trick and end her first night as the theatre's latest twinkler. Sadly it was not to be... Of course the actress had little time to take her performance much beyond that of an accomplished sketch... Her debut in highish society, however, where she's taken as a real class act, wins laughs for some over broad comedy. It's Michael Elphick, in delicious form as Eliza's wily dustman father, and Moray Watson's grave moustachioed Colonel Pickering who catch the right Shavian comic notes." The London Evening Standard

"Carli Norris takes to the limelight like a duck to water... However, Eliza's new accent never becomes really natural. This may be a deliberate point about Shaw's working-class heroine being permanently displaced by the professor's elocutionary experiment. Nevertheless, the continuing stiltedness restricts Norris's performance in the later scenes... Marsden's bachelor often seems too genuinely uninterested. He certainly captures the arrogant superiority of Shaw's questionable gent, jingling the small change in his pockets as he surveys Miss Doolittle... That the production has rough edges is hardly surprising when it has passed through the hands of three directors." The Daily Telegraph

"Eliza has been impersonated with poise, charm and great skill by an unknown newcomer: Carli Norris. Fresh out of college, she is an eye-catching natural with a neat future... Opposite Norris, Roy Marsden offers a vocally bizarre and physically mannered performance as Professor Higgins... Despite Christopher Woods's clever design of overlapping locations and projections, the show has come sadly adrift from its initial quasi-Freudian and hyper-theatrical vision. Michael Elphick as Eliza's dust man father, ruined by wealth like some helpless Lottery winner, is amusingly transformed into a spokesman for middle-class morality. And Marcia Warren is a wonderfully disapproving housekeeper." The Daily Mail

Pygmalion 1997 in London at the Noel Coward Theatre previewed from 23 July 1997, opened on 28 July 1997 and closed on 4 October 1997


2008: 11th West End London Revival with Tim Pigott-Smith and Michelle Dockery

Previewed 7 May 2008, Opened 15 May 2008, Closed 9 August 2008 at the Old Vic Theatre

A major revival of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion in London starring Tim Pigott-Smith and Michelle Dockery

The cast featured Tim Pigott-Smith as 'Henry Higgins', Michelle Dockery as 'Eliza Doolittle', James Laurenson as 'Colonel Pickering', Tony Haygarth as 'Alfred Doolittle', Barbara Jefford as 'Mrs Higgins', Una Stubbs as 'Mrs Pearce', Matt Barber as 'Freddy Eynsford-Hill', Pamela Miles as 'Mrs Eynsford-Hill', and Emma Noakes as 'Miss Clara Eynsford-Hill', with Steven Alexander, Mia Austen, Mark Extance, and Corinna Marlowe.

Directed by Peter Hall, with sets by Simon Higlett, costumes by Christopher Woods, lighting by Peter Mumford, music by Mick Sands, and sound by Gregory Clarke.

James Laurenson's London theatre credits include the roles of 'Brabantio' in Michael Grandage's revival of William Shakespeare's Othello at the Donmar Warehouse in 2007; 'Vladimir' in Peter Hall's revival of Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot at the Ambassadors Theatre in 2006; 'James' in Michael Grandage's revival of Peter Nichols' Passion Play at the Donmar Warehouse, and transfer to the West End's Comedy Theatre in 2000; 'Macduff' in Richard Eyre's revival of William Shakespeare's Macbeth at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre in 1993; and 'Julian Marsh' in Lucia Victor's production of the Al Dubin and Harry Warren musical 42nd Street at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 1984.

Tony Haygarths London theatre credits include the roles of 'Juror 3' in Harold Pinter's revival of Reginald Rose's Twelve Angry Men at the Comedy Theatre 1996; 'Trinculo' in Michael Bogdanov's revival of William Shakespeare's The Tempest, for the English Shakespeare Company, at the Royalty Theatre in 1992; the title role in Michael Bogdanov's revival of William Shakespeare's Macbeth, for the English Shakespeare Company, at the Royalty Theatre in 1992; ''Captain' Jack Boyle' in Peter Gill's revival of Sean O'Casey's revival of Juno and the Paycock at the National Theatre's Lyttelton Theatre in 1989; and 'James Lingk' in Bill Bryden's production of David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross at the National Theatre's Cottesloe Theatre in 1983, and return to the Mermaid Theatre in 1986.

"The ravishing Michelle Dockery projects Eliza's lively, independent spirit so attractively that the callous irresponsibility of the experiment conducted on her comes across with particular sharpness. Tim Pigott-Smith as a fine, maddening Higgins underlines the professor's emotionally arrested, boffin-like boyishness and the truculent bad manners that make him a somewhat ironic coach of etiquette... Peter Hall's staging has no truck with a romantic ending for the heroine and her tutor. Though smitten despite himself, Pigott-Smith's inconsolable professor slumps in defeat after her departure." The Independent

"The production succeeds on almost every level, and, with its exquisitely beautiful sets it also happens to be the best-looking production now playing in London. Tim Pigott-Smith makes a faintly Bunterish Henry Higgins: all strops and sulks, particularly when the opposite sex is mentioned... I am not sure if P-S has done enough work on his own RP to be lecturing others about theirs, but it is an engaging if slightly hammy performance for all that. Of the supporting players, James Laurenson is admirable as Higgins's foil, Colonel Pickering; Una Stubbs makes a businesslike Mrs Pearce, and I liked, too, Barbara Jefford's majestic Mrs Higgins... The heart of the production is, however, Michelle Dockery's Eliza... and, in her final showdown with Higgins, she succeeds in making us care about her." The Sunday Telegraph

"As phonetics fanatic Henry Higgins, Tim Pigott-Smith is sometimes in danger of overplaying his hand but he does capture the exquisite irony of Higgins - a man who teaches people how to pass themselves off in polite society but who himself possesses such boorish manners that his mother has forbidden him to come round when she has guests... Michelle Dockery's excellent sense of comic delivery means the scene where she regales salon guests with lurid family tales in perfectly rounded tones is joyously silly. She makes Eliza just as much a bundle of contradictory emotions as her teacher/tormentor... Around them, an excellent supporting cast includes James Laurenson as Higgins's partner in crime Colonel Pickering, Una Stubbs as no-nonsense house-keeper Mrs Pearce and Tony Haygarth as a scene-stealing Alfred Doolittle." The London Metro

Pygmalion in London at the Old Vic Theatre previewed from 7 May 2008, opened on 15 May 2008 and closed on 9 August 2008.


2011: 12th West End London Revival with Rupert Everett/Alistair McGowan and Kara Tointon

Previewed 12 May 2011, Opened 25 May 2011, Closed on 3 September 2011 at the Garrick Theatre

A major revival of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion in London starring Rupert Everett, Kara Tointon and Diana Rigg

The cast featured Rupert Everett as 'Henry Higgins' (from Thursday 12 May to Saturday 13 August 2011), Alistair McGowan as 'Henry Higgins' (from Monday 15 August to Saturday 3 September 2011), Kara Tointon as 'Eliza Doolittle', Peter Eyre as 'Colonel Pickering', Michael Feast as 'Alfred Doolittle', Diana Rigg as 'Mrs Higgins', Roberta Taylor as 'Mrs Pearce', Peter Sandys Clarke as 'Freddy Eynsford-Hill', Marty Cruickshank as 'Mrs Eynsford-Hill', and Helen Millar as 'Miss Clara Eynsford-Hill', with Rebecca Birch, Stuart Bowman, Freya Dominic, and Brendan Hooper.

Directed and designed by Philip Prowse, lighting by Gerry Jenkinson, and sound by Avgoustos Psillas.

Simon Ward was originally scheduled to play the role of 'Alfred Doolittle' but he had to withdraw during the previews due to ill health. The role was played by his undestudy Brendan Hooper, with Michael Feast taking over just prior to the Opening Night.

Rupert Everett's London theatre credits include the roles of 'Nicky Lancaster' in Philip Prowse's revival of Noel Coward's The Vortex at the Garrick Theatre in 1989; and 'Guy Bennett' in Stuart Burge's production of Julian Mitchell's Another Country at the Greenwich Theatre in 1981, and transfer to the West End's Queen's Theatre in 1982.

Peter Eyre's London theatre credits include the roles of 'Joshua' in Sean Mathias' revival of Jean Anouilh's Ring Round the Moon at the Playhouse Theatre in 2008; 'Cardinal Grand Inquisitor' in Michael Grandage's revival of Friedrich Schiller's Don Carlos at the Gielgud Theatre in 2005; 'Duke of York' in Trevor Nunn's revival of William Shakespeare's Richard II at the Old Vic Theatre in 2005; 'Tuzenbach' in Jonathan Miller's revival of Anton Chekhov's The Three Sisters at the Cambridge Theatre in 1976; and 'George Tesman' in Trevor Nunn's revival of Hedda Gabler at the Aldwych Theatre in 1975.

Michael Feast's London theatre credits include the roles of 'John Gieldgud' in Tamara Harvey's production of Nicholas De Jongh's Plague Over England at the Duchess Theatre in 2009; 'Macduff' in Rupert Goold's revival of William Shakespeare's Macbeth at the Gielgud Theatre in 2007; 'Ted' in Sean Holmes' production of Richard Bean's The Mentalists at the National Theatre's Lyttelton Loft Theatre in 2002; 'Duke Vincentio' in Steven Pimlott's revival of William Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, for the Royal Shakespeare Company, at the Barbican Theatre in 1995; 'Bobby' in Bill Bryden's production of David Mamet's American Buffalo at the National Theatre's Cottesloe Theatre in 1978; 'Foster' in Peter Hall's production of Harold Pinter's No Man's Land, for the National Theatre, at the Old Vic Theatre, and transfer to the Wyndham's Theatre in 1975; and 'Ariel' in Peter Hall's revival of William Shakespeare's Tempest, for the National Theatre, at the Old Vic Theatre in 1974.

The production transfers from the Chichester Festival Theatre in West Sussex - previewed from 9 July 2010, opened on 19 July 2010, and closed on 27 August 2010 (in repertory) - with a cast that featured Rupert Everett as 'Henry Higgins', Honeysuckle Weeks as 'Eliza Doolittle', Peter Eyre as 'Colonel Pickering', Phil Davis as 'Alfred Doolittle', Stephanie Cole as 'Mrs Higgins', Susie Blake as 'Mrs Pearce', Peter Sandys-Clarke as 'Freddy Eynsford-Hill', Marty Cruickshank as 'Mrs Eynsford-Hill', and Candida Benson as 'Miss Clara Eynsford-Hill', with Rebecca Birch, Freya Dominic, Brendan Hooper, and Tristram Wymark.

"Director (and designer) Philip Prowse is to be congratulated for giving a new fluency to Shaw's lines. The play now rings with freshness and much of this is due to the shining performance of Kara Tointon as a formidable Eliza Doolittle... The transformation, by Higgins and the kindly Colonel Pickering (a thoughtful performance by the musically-voiced Peter Eyre) from downtrodden flower girl is handled with smooth and humorous skill. The role of Eliza is a challenge for any actress and Miss Tointon faced it with charm and skill. Rupert Everett is equally adroit as the testy Higgins and with his dark beard and hard eyes, he looks like a vengeful pirate. Michael Feast is quite magnificent as Eliza's money-grasping dustman father. And it is so good to see Dame Diana Rigg in splendid form as a very regal Mrs Higgins." The Daily Express

"Philip Prowse's production began life last summer in Chichester. The West End cast is stronger, but he's retained all sorts of odd ideas, such as setting the piece on a stage within a stage, complete with red velvet fringed curtains... more than anything, it's about Eliza's discovery of her own voice and independence - and her triumph is her teacher's tragedy. It is a point that Rupert Everett's Higgins makes rather well. Brooding, barely house-trained and brainy but with no emotional intelligence whatsoever, he can dissect the sound of speech, but not the tone... Kara Tointon makes a very polished West End debut as Eliza, initially deliciously low and then as poised, fearless and forthright as if to the manner born.... An absorbing interpretation of an indestructible, irresistible play." The Mail on Sunday

"Rupert Everett is the suave but misogynistic Professor Henry Higgins who, for a bet, turns flower girl Eliza Doolittle into a duchess. As Eliza, Ex-EastEnder Kara Tointon is at first more Dick van Dyke than genuine cockney. But, as her transformation progresses, Kara displays a real comic talent. While Everett's odious manipulator becomes more human, she shines and is a delight to watch. George Bernard Shaw dissected the class divide with wit, elegance and humanity. Now, with a government full of Old Etonians, this play is more timely than ever. Class war has never been so funny." The Daily Mirror

Pygmalion in London at the Garrick Theatre previewed from 12 May 2011, opened on 25 May 2011 and closed on 3 September 2011.