The Girl With Glass Feet by Ali ShawStrange things are happening on the remote and snowbound archipelago of St. Hauda’s Land. Magical winged creatures flit around the icy bogland, albino animals hide themselves in the snow-glazed woods, and Ida Maclaird is slowly turning into glass. Ida is an outsider in these parts who has only visited the islands once before. Yet during that one fateful visit the glass transformation began to take hold, and now she has returned in search of a cure.
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BWW Review: ME AND MY GIRL at Shaw Festival
The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. Noel Gay, the British operetta and music hall composer born Reginald Armitage in , wrote songs that we would call earworms today, seemingly simple compositions with often insipid lyrics that play on repeat in your head after you hear them, whether you want them to or not. For instance, I'm writing this review a few days after seeing the Shaw Festival's entertaining production of Gay's hit musical Me and My Girl , and every time I let my mind go still for a moment, it fills with a section of the Act I finale song called The Lambeth Walk. Though I had never heard The Lambeth Walk before Saturday night, I now feel as if it has darn-well-pleasied about in my mind all my life. Critic Sheridan Morley once wrote that Gay "wrote the kind of songs that people not only sang in their baths but also imagined they could write in their baths. And then, in the era of Cats , someone had the bright idea of reviving the musical on the West End — hiring Stephen Fry to update the old book by L.
An alchemy of sorts has melded a super talented cast with the thoughtfully insightful director. The Shaw Festival has not always had a strong track record of completely successful musicals, but under new Artistic Director Tim Carroll 's leadership, it seems as if the tide has turned. Of course, the selection of a musical with British heritage a rarity of sorts , fits in perfectly with the Shaw Festival's mandate. The farcical story centers on locating the lone and unlikely heir to a large family fortune. At the Hareford family estate we meet the commoner, Bill Snibson, who born of an unfortunate family tryst, learns of his new position of heir apparent. How this cockney gent reacts to his new surroundings often plays a bit like Pygmalion, and tangentially makes references to Shaw's infamous characters. Originally produced on the London Stage in , this highly successful show has music by Noel Gay and a revised book by Stephen Fry for it's second life in a 's revival.
This type of show was perfect to boost the spirit in dark times during its initial five year run in London when it was bombed out of two of its theatres. The revival in with a new book by Stephen Fry ran for eight years in London and three years on Broadway. The story concerns the ancient line of Harefords who have have been at a loss to find a direct heir since the death of the thirteenth Earl. Luckily, Porchester Jay Turvey , the family lawyer, has just discovered that the Earl did have a son by a now deceased Cockney woman in Lambeth and has brought the young man to meet his new-found family. According to Porchester, Bill can inherit only if the family deems him suitable.
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Me And My Girl, which has to do with a chirpy Cockney lad who inherits a title, a place in the House of Lords, and a vast fortune, may seem no more like a piece of piffle at first glance. Furthermore, when done with the inventiveness and energy shown by the Shaw in this superb production, its high spirits prove infectious. Me And My Girl is a show with one fundamental purpose in life — to give pleasure — and it delivers in spades. Arthur Rose and Douglas Furber. It deals, in its own carefree and buoyant way, with that eternal British preoccupation — the class system.