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My Fair Lady Blog

Welcome to an ongoing BMT My Fair Lady blog of news, trivia, updates, and interesting goings on!

Please keep checking back for updates on this blog.

Thursday 24th March

The “it’s not anything about My Fair Lady entry”

It’s late, and I haven’t got any MFL updates or news, but there is this neat, catchy tune I kept hearing every few months on the radio, but had no idea of singer or song name. Well today I found out thanks to Josh who I’ve been dealing with at Radioworks Marlborough, one of our generous sponsors for MFL (so there is a rather tenuous reason / excuse of “MFL” content for this item appearing in the blog!), what this song is, and who actually sings it.

I figured I can remove this entry later, and it does at least put something new on the page today, if you happened to have just come to see…….. if there is anything new here today.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this song. Mika has quite the vocal range.


Wednesday 23rd March

I Could Have Danced All Night / Jamie Cullum

Many of the songs from My Fair Lady have been covered by dozens of different artists over the years. One of the more recent covers, and one that is also a more extreme interpretation, is a version of I Could Have Danced All Night by the what is i spy software very talented singer / pianist / and young performer Jamie Cullum. It is a fusion of several styles of music; jazz, pop, funk and more.

View a youtube video of Jamie here, and here.

Personally I really do like this guys music a lot. Unsurprisingly Jamie also has many ardent female fans! Another great cover of his is I Get A Kick Out Of You from the musical Anything Goes. In this song you can experience Jamie’s stunning piano playing. Enjoy.

P.S. Some of the previous web addresses I’ve given are not working links, as I’ve not had any success getting them to apply on here, so far. Sorry you’ll just have to copy and then paste them to your browser for now. Thanks. Just how I’ve managed to get the youtube videos to appear on this page is a total mystery to me!!


Tuesday 22nd March

Birthday / Marlborough Civic Theatre Trust

Today is a the birthday of our MFL Musical Director Kevin Moseley. HAPPY BIRTHDAY KEVIN!!! We at BMT all wish you a great day.

Kevin is also chairman of our local Marlborough Civic Theatre Trust, and it’s their current theatre that My Fair Lady is being staged at in May 2011.

A totally independent group of people have put a lot of work into making a fun video which gives support to Kevin and all the (unpaid) members of the trust who are working very hard to make a new state of the art theatre a reality for Blenheim within the next couple of years. The singers featured are two of our members being Linda Holdaway and Jody Hughes, and the video is now posted on you tube.

Check it out here.


Monday 21st March

My Fair Lady film factoids

It is easy to assume that once something is filmed that it remains forever but the fact is, in film’s short history of 100 years, over 50% of all films have been lost due to “the ravages of time”.

  • Some 30 years after it was made the My Fair Lady film, starting Rex Harrison (Higgins) and Audrey Hepburn (Eliza), was found in the mid nineties disintegrating in a quake damaged Los Angeles vault. It was very nearly lost forever.
  • A huge job to lovingly and painstakingly restore ‘her’ was undertaken by two film producers who have made a second career of preserving cinema’s great achievements.
  • “The original negative was so fragile that during first attempts to reprint it, it continued to tear and break”. It’s thanks to modern digital technology that it was possible to fix the many holes and other damage in the negative, even to the extent of replacing individual pixels!
  • The original vocal and sound tracks had not survived, and all that was available was a mono 6 track master track and a 3 track foreign version of music and effects. There were numerous challenges with the sound for the restoration project.
  • Just one example is that Rex Harrison refused to lip-sync his songs like the other actors, and insisted on singing live, performing each song in a single take while wearing one of the first wireless mics (which can be seen as a bulge under Harrison’s tie throughout the movie). Therefore his live songs had a harsh and brittle sound compared to the others .
  • The radio mic, although cutting edge technology at its time, tended to pickup police radio and taxi cab calls! Due to today’s sophisticated sound equipment, subtle background noises on the original set, such as flies buzzing around, could now be heard by the restorers.
  • A wonderful find was all the original sound tracks sung by Audrey Hepburn, who had trained vigorously with a voice coach, and was not told until filming had finished that her singing was to be overdubbed by Marni Nixon. Audrey Hepburn was understandably devastated by this news.
  • The writers of My Fair Lady, Lerner & Loewe, desperately wanted Julie Andrews in the lead role of Eliza for the movie version, but were overruled as it was felt by the studio executives that due to the huge cost of the production and Miss Andrews being unproven in film, that it was therefore to risky. As history subsequently proved, Julie Andrews went on shortly after to star in the film version of The Sound Of Music and proved that she did indeed have that ‘X’ factor when starring in movies.
  • If you wish to read further, I have taken the above notes from a comprehensive article at this link:

Friday 18th March

Ticket sales for My Fair Lady

It is still early days for ticket sales, but Julie from the Marlborough Civic Theatre informed me today that interest had been good for the first five days tickets had been on sale. There is certainly plenty of interest in the first two nights with the generous 15% discount, so I would advise you to book early if you wish to take advantage of this great saving. Julie told me a slightly anxious lady came into the ticket office wanting to know “are there any seats left for the My Fair Lady show”. Julie was able to reassure her that in fact there were still plenty of seats for her to choose from!!

Finally, another quote from a critique of the original musical; “My Fair Lady is wise, witty, and winning. In short, a miraculous musical.” Walter Kerr, New York Herald Tribune.

Wednesday 16/03/11

Rehearsals of Orchestra and Cast

Last night the My Fair Lady orchestra had its first get together and rehearsal under the experienced baton of our Musical Director Kevin Moseley. I’m told that there are many talented musicians in the orchestra, including the largest string section there has been for many years, which is very exciting to hear. Very good progress was made last night. The orchestra will be rehearsing separately for several weeks yet before they come together with the cast.

The cast have been busy rehearsing songs with our Vocal Coach Con O’Brien since the 17th of Feb, and also dance routines with our Choreographer (and Production Manager) Karen Davies.

In addition the principals (lead roles) had an intensive weeks rehearsal with our Director Simon Coleman from the 6th to 12th of Feb. Simon arrives back again this weekend, and will then be here full time until the show opens on Wednesday 4th of May. Therefore demands on cast and crew will start to step up a gear or two from this point onward with the show.

Tuesday 15/03/11

How did the show get its name?

Tickets are now finally on sale for our fabulous production of My Fair Lady!

Did you know how this show got its title? Well this show is closely based on George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion, with one of the possible names for the 1956 hit Broadway stage musical being one of Shaw’s provisional titles for Pygmalion - Fair Eliza. “Other titles considered included ‘Come To The Ball’ and ‘Lady Liza’, but everyone agreed that a marquee reading ‘Rex Harrison in Lady Liza’ would be imprudent, so they took the title they disliked the least – My Fair Lady (an allusion to the nursery rhyme London Bridge is Falling Down).”

Time has proven that, despite a slightly shakey start name wise, this musical has a title that absolutely fits it like a glove. I can’t imagine a more suitable title for this show.

Lastly an excerpt from a review of the original production: “One of the”loverliest’ shows imaginable………… a work of theatre magic.” John Beaufort

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