My Fair Lady – April 16, 2009
I know this entry is way way overdue, and I apologize for that. But better late than never, right? :) In April of this year, me and my Mum went to Stockholm to see My Fair Lady, and as always when it comes to musicals, it was a wonderful experience!
We had been lucky enough to get a really great hotel, very small rooms, but it was situated right next to Oscars (where My Fair Lady was playing) and it was quite cheap!
Both me and my Mum were quite excited to see this musical, I had never seen it before, even though I had some idea of the plot and songs, and it was very special to my Mum, who had seen it when she was young, in Stockholm, with Jarl Kulle!
When we entered the theatre, we instantly found a note saying that Henry Higgins and Freddy were played by their understudies!! That made me quite sad actually, as I had really been looking forward to seeing Tommy Körberg (Higgins) and Helen Sjöholm (Eliza) together. They are outstanding together, with a very special energy between them, and it felt quite disappointing not being able to see them this time!
However, it was fantastic to see the musical, as I had never seen it before, I haven’t even seen the film version of it! I did know some of it of course, but it’s never quite the same to see the entire play live!
Instead of Tommy Körberg, Christopher Wollter was playing Higgins (he usually played Freddie), I had never seen him before and I was really impressed! He had a very nice voice, and was quite a good actor, but to me, he was too young to play Higgins. I can’t help but feel there should be a noticeable age difference between Higgins and Eliza - he’s the elderly professor and she’s the young girl off the street – now you got the feeling they were basically the same age. As I said, I really liked Christopher Wollter, and I’d love to see him in something else – Marius or Enjolras in Les Misérables, Chris in Miss Saigon etc. – but he didn’t quite fit in as Henry Higgins.
I also found it difficult to adjust to the new Freddie … I’m sure Christopher Wollter normally made fantastic Freddie, but the understudy Fredrik Lexfors was not quite so good, I’m sorry to say. I’m sure with a bit more training and experience, he’ll be able to pull off the part, but when we saw him, he didn’t make a great impression.
It was absolutely fantastic to see Jan Malmsjö live, I have only seen him on TV before, so I feel really lucky he was on when we were there! He was very very good, despite his age, and quite the comedian, which I hadn’t expected!! I haven’t seen him do any comedy before, and it was nice to see he could do that as well! Also, and inside joke for all my Swedish readers: Before singing “Get me to the church on time”, Jan Malmsjö ran on stage and dramatically exclaimed: “Ring klocka, ring!” *lol*
As usual Helen Sjöholm was FANTASTIC! I don’t think she’s done a bad performance in her life, she’s really amazing!! She’s a really tiny person, and every time I see her, I’m amazed at her capacity! She as well got to do a fair bit of comedy, I hadn’t seen that before, but she was very good at it!!
Pickering, played by Michael Segerström was also quite good. I hadn’t heard of him before, but he brought a lot of comedy to the show.
I have to say – and I think my Mum agrees with me – the show had a lot more comedy than I had expected. Even though I’ve never read Pygmalion, or seen the movie, you do get a fair idea of what the musical is about, and I hadn’t pictured it as being very funny. The basic theme wasn’t comedic of course, but a lot of things had a fun twist, and there were lots of laughs from the audience.
It was a really wonderful experience to have seen My Fair Lady, but I can’t help but feel a bit sad about not getting to see Tommy Körberg. I really like his voice a lot, and together with Helen Sjöholm, it gets even better. They are an unstoppable team, and I really really would have liked to see them together! I also think Tommy Körberg would have made an excellent Higgins!
The musical will be running this fall as well, the new premiere will be some time in September … Me and Mum did have an idea of going during the fall, to try to catch Tommy and Helen together, and also be able to see Cats (my Mum has never seen it, which is a true shame, considering how much she loves cats!!), but it doesn’t seem like it will be possible now …