In just two weeks, the highly-anticipated production of Lerner & Loewe’s My Fair Lady will hold its opening night at Melbourne’s Regent Theatre. This recreation of the original 1956 Broadway production has been more than a decade in the making with producers Opera Australia, John Frost and research teams travelling all over the world to uncover the elements that made the original Broadway production so extraordinary.
Melbourne’s love affair with My Fair Lady began 58 years ago when it premiered at Her Majesty’s Theatre on the 24th January 1959. The original Australian production starred Bunty Turner as Eliza Doolittle and Robin Bailey as Professor Higgins. This production of My Fair Lady was the most successful musical ever to be staged in Australia with simultaneous productions running in Melbourne and Sydney.
Leading the stellar cast of this new production is acclaimed theatre, film and television actor Charles Edwards, as Professor Higgins. Most recently Edwards appeared in the popular television series Downton Abbey and has played leading roles on Broadway and the West End. The lead role of Eliza Doolittle is played by young Australian star Anna O’Byrne. O’Byrne has a growing international career spanning opera, theatre, concert and film and has had starring roles in theatre productions including Love Never Dies and The Phantom of the Opera.
The cast also includes the outstanding principal performers: Reg Livermore will play the role of Alfred P. Doolittle, Robyn Nevin will play Mrs. Higgins and Mark Vincent will play Freddy Eynsford-Hill. The role of Colonel Hugh Pickering will be played by Tony Llewellyn-Jones and Deidre Rubenstein will play Mrs. Pearce.
This production, directed by stage and screen legend Julie Andrews, has received rapturous reviews:
‘My Fair Lady is a triumph’ – Courier Mail
‘Spectacle at every corner of the stage.’ – Daily Telegraph
‘Julie Andrews delivers bloomin’ lovely anniversary show’ – Sydney Morning Herald
‘Guaranteed to make you leave the theatre with a smile on your face and a song in your heart’ – Brisbane Times
‘Julie Andrews re-creates classic original with a show that truly sings’ – The Guardian
‘My Fair Lady stands head and shoulders above the crowd.’ – Limelight