News.

Blooming ‘loverly’ new pictures released of My Fair Lady, opening soon at Leeds Playhouse

8th May 2024

“All I want is a room somewhere

Far away from the cold night air

With one enormous chair

Oh, wouldn’t it be loverly?”

 

Something exciting is ready to burst into bloom in Leeds this spring as the company of My Fair Lady beautifully evoke the captivating melodies and exuberant lyrics of Lerner and Loewe’s classic musical. This Leeds Playhouse and Opera North co-production opens in the Playhouse’s epic Quarry Theatre from 31 May – 29 June.

  

Rehearsal images show the ‘loverly’ cast working with Choreographer Lucy Hind and Director James Brining, whose recent smash hit retelling of the musical Oliver! at the Playhouse attracted rave reviews from both audiences and critics. They are working hard in the rehearsal room with leading soprano Katie Bird and star of stage and screen John Hopkins in the leading roles of Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins.

  

John plays Dr “Smokey” Stover in Apple TV’s latest hit Masters of the Air, Sir Francis Basset in BBC One’s Poldark and Sgt Dan Scott in the hit TV series Midsomer Murders. On stage, he starred as Scrooge in Bristol Old Vic’s acclaimed production of A Christmas Carol and Alan in The Boys in the Band, which ran at the Playhouse in 2016. He now takes on the role of phonetician Henry Higgins, returning again to Leeds where he studied English at the University of Leeds.

  

Katie studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the Royal Academy of Music and the National Opera Studio. Her operatic roles include Mimì in La Bohème and Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly for Opera North, Suzel in L’amico Fritz for Opera Holland Park, the Governess in The Turn of the Screw for Northern Ireland Opera, and Masha and Chloe in The Queen of Spades for English National Opera.

  

James Brining, Artistic Director of Leeds Playhouse and Director of My Fair Lady, said: “It’s such a pleasure to be back in a rehearsal room with the exceptional artists and stage management from Opera North, with the added bonus of working with some fantastic visiting actors, who are bringing their own special talents and skills to the process. We’re so looking forward to sharing the work we’re making with audiences in a joyful and entertaining production of this classic musical.”

 

The production has a principal cast of nine performers, with several roles taken by artists from the Chorus of Opera North, the Company’s full-time professional ensemble. Joining Katie Bird and John Hopkins are: Mark Burghagen as Professor Zoltan Karpathy (Der Rosenkavalier, Opera North); Ahmed Hamad as Freddy Eynsford-Hill (Sunset Boulevard, Savoy Theatre; Standing At The Sky’s Edge, National Theatre/Sheffield Crucible; The Boy in the Dress, RSC); Richard Mosley-Evans as Alfred P. Doolittle (Albert Herring, Opera North); Dean Robinson as Colonel Pickering (Into the Woods and A Little Night Music, Leeds Playhouse and Opera North); Molly Barker as Mrs Eynsford-Hill (A Little Night Music, Leeds Playhouse and Opera North; Rigoletto, Parsifal and La Rondine, Opera North); Miranda Bevin as Mrs Higgins (Street Scene, Opera North); and Helen Évora as Mrs Pearce (Orpheus in the Record Shop, filmed for BBC 4; Into the Woods and A Little Night Music, Leeds Playhouse and Opera North).

 

Joining James in the creative team are Set & Costume Designer Madeleine Boyd (Opera North’s Don Giovanni, The Turn of the Screw and La Traviata); Choreographer Lucy Hind (Oliver!, Leeds Playhouse; Girl from the North Country, WestEnd/Broadway); Musical Director/Conductor Oliver Rundell; Lighting Designer Guy Hoare; Sound Designer Seb Frost; Dialect Coach Eleanor Manners; Associate Choreographer Llandyll Gove; Assistant Director Rosie Kat; Assistant Conductor Daniel Hogan; and Chief Repetiteur Annette Saunders.

 

Featuring Frederick Loewe’s ravishing score and a wonderfully witty book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, the musical follows 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”. But who is really being transformed?

Recent musical theatre collaborations between Leeds Playhouse and Opera North include critically-acclaimed revivals of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods (2016) and A Little Night Music (2021/22) plus Orpheus in the Record Shop by Leeds-based writer, composer and beatboxer Testament, which was filmed for BBC 4s Lights Up series.

Listings information

A Leeds Playhouse and Opera North co-production

Lerner and Loewe’s

MY FAIR LADY

Book and Lyrics by ALAN JAY LERNER

Music by FREDERICK LOEWE

Adapted from George Bernard Shaw’s Play and

Gabriel Pascal’s Motion Picture “PYGMALION”

Original Production Directed and Staged by Moss Hart

Performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International

Leeds Playhouse’s Quarry Theatre

Age guide 11+

31 May – 29 June

Press night Friday 7 June, 7pm

Box office 0113 213 7700. Book online leedsplayhouse.org.uk