Cast is announced today for Sam Pritchard‘s radical new staging of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion. A co-production between Headlong, Nuffield Theatres Southampton and West Yorkshire Playhouse, it will open to press in Leeds, where it runs from 4 to 25 February 2017, before travelling to Warwick, Liverpool, Leicester, Cheltenham, Bath, Oxford, and finishing at the Nuffield Southampton Theatres.
Alex Beckett and Natalie Gavin (pictured) star as Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle. Also in the cast are: Ian Burfield (Alfred Doolittle), Gavi Singh Chera (Freddy Eynsford Hill), Flaminia Cinque (Mrs Pearce/Mrs Eynsford-Hill), Racheal Ofori (Clara Eynsford-Hill), Liza Sadovy (Mrs Higgins), Raphael Sowole (Colonel Pickering).
How far do accents define us? Is status still dictated by our mother tongue? George Bernard Shaw’s acute comedy Pygmalion is a hilarious and poignant tale of two opposites, Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle, trying to find a common language.
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.
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 McDougal.
Headlong has partnered with Nuffield Southampton Theatres and West Yorkshire Playhouse on supporting emerging directors on several occasions, productions have included Romeo and Juliet in 2012 and The Seagull in 2013, and 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.
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.