03 OctPygmalion 37/52

Last year in my quest to read 52 books in a year, one of my picks was Home by Julie Andrews. She talks at length about her history in the theatre, part of which was staring in the first Broadway production of My Fair Lady.

I hadn’t even seen the movie, but discovering that the play was based on a play I decided to read the play first.

Pygmalion coverPygmalion by George Bernard Shaw is the story of Henry Higgins. As a linguistic professor, he is obsessed with language and it’s various accents and permutations. As part of a bet, he tutors Eliza Doolittle – a cockney flower seller – on how to become a lady.

This is such a beautiful story, part love story part reflection on society. Unfortunately I read this back in May, so my memory is a bit spotty on the exact elements that I really enjoyed.

The one part that sticks out for me that I didn’t like was the final portion. The version of the play I read includes a prequel to the play. Though it was written by Shaw in response to several stage versions of the play that had changed the ending, I felt as though it was more the author stamping his foot and saying “NO this is how it is supposed to go” rather than a natural flow to the story. Rather than being written as another play, it’s just a quick summary of what has happened to the characters after the closing act of the original play.

I gave the play four stars when I originally read it.

And since this review is so thin due to not writing it right after I’d read it like I should have, I give you a youtube video of Julie Andrews and the two alter-egos that made her famous: Eliza Doolittle and Mary Poppins. It’s a great video, as there’s not too many videos of her in the roll of Eliza (Nevermind the fact that it’s three Julies at once lol).

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