As Georgia May Foote takes up the reins as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Creagh/Carr reviewers Bev Creagh and Stewart Carr went along to the opening night at Milton Keynes Theatre.
CREAGH SAYS ... Talk about disappointed!
Must admit I was curious about how Georgia May Foote would approach Audrey Hepburn’s legendary role and ever so slightly sorry for her trying to fill such iconic shoes.
But it didn’t occur to me I wouldn’t even be able to hear what the former Coronation Street actress - or many of the cast - said.
Her words, in a breathy American high-pitched squeak, all ran in to one another so you had no idea where one sentence ended and the next began.
Which made her scenes rather difficult to follow . . . however she does have a nice singing voice which she used to good effect on the two songs in the show.
Holly Golightly is supposed to be sexually voracious, an ephemeral gamine who wraps everyone round her little finger, from aspiring writer Fred (Matt Barber) to barman Joe (Victor McGuire) and her discarded husband Doc (Robert Calvert) - I almost expected him to break into a heartwrenching chorus of You Picked a Fine Time to Leave me Lucille when he arrived in dungarees and cowboy hat.
But if you can’t hear the conversation and the quips, you’re lost.
I only perked up when David Cardy as O J Berman and Charlie de Melo as Jose were on stage.
Otherwise I was bewildered rather than beguiled, irritated rather than inspired.
However Bob the Cat gave an impeccable performance . . . probably because his role was a non-speaking one.
CARR SAYS ... Oh dear! The grey clouds surrounding this production just kept getting thicker after an awkward first night at Milton Keynes Theatre.
Before I even get into the who and the what, a major stage blunder and a cry of “sh**” by an actor was perhaps the most striking moment of the night.
That’s right, during a quiet hospital scene a tiny X-Ray screen was instead replaced by the giant facade of Holly Golightly’s home, which came tumbling down perilously close to the actors’ heads.
It was rather like Stonehenge from Spinal Tap, except in reverse!
The mistake was quickly reverted but enough of that, how to describe Breakfast At Tiffany’s?
It’s a play that should be an easy win, with an iconic main character and charming New York backdrop - associated with one of the most popular films ever - but here it instead becomes a hammy and laboured affair that struggles to get off the ground.
Georgia May Foote stars as the socialite Holly Golightly. This Holly is more true to Truman Capote’s original novel, a less than sympathetic good-time girl who leans heavily on those around her.
Hats off to Foote’s singing and guitar playing, but she delivers her lines in a grating sing-song tone that isn’t easy to follow. The acting across the board wasn’t quite up to it, with some very forced American accents.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s Night plays at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday, September 24. See here for tickets.