Eliza Doolittle, a penniless girl selling flowers in the street, wants
to learn how to speak English correctly so she can get a job in a flower
shop. She meets Henry Higgins, a speech expert who makes a bet with his
friend Pickering that he can pass her off as a Princess. Eliza is
trained to talk and behave like a lady and when at the end of her
intense studies she is presented at a grand ball, she indeed passes for a
Princess and Higgins wins his bet.
The play is not only a wonderfully written comedy but also an attempt by George Bernard Shaw to expose the inequality of opportunity that women suffered in the last century.
The story of how Eliza succeeds in transforming her accent and her manners, and the problems this creates for her, is familiar to many. The play was adapted first into a musical "My Fair Lady" and then a film of the same name, starring Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn. This production has been performed in Japan, Germany, France and a dozen other countries, and is always a favourite, particularly for students who are grappling with the English language. It brings out the comedy in a delightfully clear and refreshing way, highlighting the visual elements of the drama as much as the dialogue. It also underlines the deeper themes of the play which deal with language, class and equality. Eliza wishes to speak proper English in order that she may get a better job and prospects, but as she steps into the world of upper class London society she finds she is lost and rejected and afraid of the future.
Tour De Force Theatre Company has been producing highly original theatre projects in English and in French for over ten years, all of which tour to large scale venues throughout Europe, the Middle and Far East. We have recently moved into a large studio space in London’s fashionable East End, where we are beginning to develop exciting collaborations with a wide range of creative organisations and groups, working in a wide variety of genres. Full details of our studio projects, touring productions, together with photos, reviews and educational notes, can be found on our website: www.tdftheatre.com