Pygmalion Auditions

Season 2021 – 2022


September – Wednesday 08 & Friday 10 – Southwick Community Centre BN42 4TE

Auditions at 19:30 for 19:45 – open to all – you do not have to be a member to audition

script here

Production dates are January 5 – 8 2022 with a Matinee performance on Janaury 8


  • There is no need to tell us when you’re coming, and we should be pleased to see you either on the 8th or the 10th at 7.45.
  • The Centre buildings are shut so you will have to enter via Glebe Close and the workshop.
  • The auditions will be in the Deall Room, which is well-ventilated and spacious.

Summary
One rainy, London night, phonetics professor Henry Higgins takes in a flower girl named Eliza Doolittle in
an effort to win a bet with Colonel Pickering, an expert in Indian dialects. He bets Pickering that he can
teach Eliza elocution and pass her off as a lady to all of London society. Despite many reservations and
objections Eliza ultimately agrees to their experiment. Over the course of her education, Eliza’s father,
Alfred Doolittle takes his chances with Higgins for money, but this backfires when he unwillingly becomes
a well-off, middle-class gentleman thanks to Higgin’s connections with a rich philanthropist. Eliza turns
out to be an apt student and easily convinces the ladies at a garden party that she is a mysterious
duchess. Despite her success, Higgins is pompous about his efforts and never truly thinks of Eliza as a lady
or his social equal after her stunning transformation. With a proposal from the besotted Freddy Eynsford-
Hill lingering in the air, Eliza leaves Higgins to seek her own future.


Main characters
[1] Professor Henry Higgins Higgins – a forty-year-old bachelor who specializes in phonetics and who is an
acclaimed authority on the subject of dialects, accents, and phonetics.

Pages 50-53 with Liza. Energetic and unstoppable – livelier than Rex Harrison! Played by Leslie Howard in the film made in Shaw’s lifetime.

[2] Eliza Doolittle – an uneducated, uncouth “guttersnipe,” the flower girl whom Higgins (for a dare)
decides to mould into a duchess. She is probably twenty years younger than Higgins.

Pages 12-14 (cor blimey) 31-4 (trying to be posh) 50-53 with Higgins (the poised young woman she has become)

[3] Alfred Doolittle – Eliza’s father; he is a dustman with a sonorous voice, who proudly believes in his position
as a member of the “undeserving poor.”

Page 23-4. Stanley Holloway in My Fair Lady.

[4] Colonel Pickering – a distinguished retired officer and the author of Spoken Sanskrit. He has come to
England to meet the famous Professor Henry Higgins. He is courteous and polite to Eliza, and he shares in
Higgins’ experiments in phonetics in teaching Eliza to speak as a duchess.

Pages 36-8 Older than Higgins but not an old buffer – he is a scholar as well as a gentleman

[5] Mrs. Higgins – Henry Higgins’ mother, who thoroughly loves her son but also thoroughly disapproves of his
manners, his language, and his social behaviour.

Pages 27-8 60s More important part than in My Fair Lady. Wise and sympathetic

[6] Mrs. Eynsford-Hill – a lady of the upper-middle class who is in a rather impoverished condition but is still
clinging to her gentility.

Pages 31-4 50s-60s Posh

[7] Clara Eynsford-Hill – daughter; she tries to act the role of the modem, advanced young person.

Pages 31-4 20s Posh

[8] Freddy Eynsford-Hill – son; he is a pleasant young man who is enchanted by Eliza upon first meeting
her.

Pages 31-4 Posh

[9] Mrs. Pearce – Professor Higgins’ housekeeper of long standing. She is the one who first sees the difficulty
of what is to happen to Eliza after Higgins and Pickering have finished their experiment with her.

Pages 18-20 More important part than in My Fair Lady

[10 – 13/14] 4-5 Bystanders in the first scene only.

Read a bit of Doolittle

[15] Parlour Maid – could double with spectator in First Scene.

Read a bit of Liza’s first extract.


Notes


We will do this in period ( c.1912) so the middle class characters do need to speak in the received
pronunciation of the time – it is a play about class and language. The cockney characters should be
traditional cockney and not just poorly spoken. Both are quite some way from modern speech.
Lovely warm, witty and well-written play which we read last year as a play reading and admired very
much. For the bigger parts, big rewards but a fair amount of stamina!


Rehearsals begin 11 October 2021


We really need to have everything pretty well ready by the Christmas break and just polish up ready for
early January.


The characters which only appear in one or two scenes won’t have to come every time but Higgins,
Pickering and Liza will.



If you want a chat about characters or arrangements, don’t hesitate to contact Director Mike Wells.

01903 245441 or Email