Breakfast at Tiffany’s Review
The Bristol Hippodrome
Monday 26th September – Saturday 1st October 2016
The UK and Ireland Tour of Breakfast at Tiffany’s is visiting The Bristol Hippodrome this week. Georgia May Foote plays Holly Golightly, the iconic role, originally played so stylishly by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 film of the same name. No pressure then! Oh, and did I mention that this is Georgia’s professional stage debut?!
She may not have worked a stage before but Georgia’s no stranger to acting with television credits including Katy Armstrong in Coronation Street and Alison Simmons in Grange Hill. She was also runner-up in last year’s Strictly Come Dancing.
Matt Barber, (Atticus Aldridge in Downton Abbey) plays opposite her as ‘Fred’.
Based on Truman Capote’s short novel, Breakfast at Tiffany’s is set in New York in 1943. Fred, a young writer from Louisiana, meets Holly Golightly, a charming, vivacious and utterly elusive good-time girl. Everyone falls in love with Holly – including Fred. But Fred is poor, and Holly’s other suitors include a playboy millionaire and the future president of Brazil. As war rages on in Europe, Holly begins to fall in love with Fred – just as her past catches up with her.
BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S REVIEW
Audrey Hepburn’s elegant high chignon is such an iconic image that I’m surprised to see our stage Holly (or Holiday as she’s sometimes called) sporting long golden curls. Her American accent also sounds unrefined, so initially I wonder whether we’re about to witness her pygmalion style transformation into a chic socialite – especially as the brunette chignon, pearls and LBD all appear in the programme images. Subsequent research (via Wikipedia and other on-line resources) reveals that author, Truman Capote, had been set on Marilyn Monroe to play Holly but, having sold his novella to Paramount Studios, could do nothing about them casting Ms Hepburn instead, so perhaps this particular look stems from that. Pixie Lott also had long golden curls when she performed the role previously.
Period atmosphere seeps into our senses by use of moody lighting, a drifting rain effect, the smell of cigarettes and sound effects from a crashing thunder storm to distant typewriters placing us in the office while Fred is being torn off a strip by his boss:-
“Why are you hostile to the semi colon?!”
Sets slide smoothly both horizontally and vertically to create well used spaces like Holly and Fred’s apartments. My friend and I particularly like what looks like an actual well stocked wooden bar which makes an appearance very early on. We’re glad to see it reappear later as we agree it’s too good to only use once!
When we first see Cat, he’s carried onto the stage and stays quite still so it’s hard to tell if he’s real. Surely cats are free spirits not actors, DAHling! But he clearly knows his cues, climbs out of the window at just the right moment and continues to elicit laughter and “aaws” and from the audience in all the right places. Yes, despite his humble beginnings at an animal rescue in Surrey, Bob the cat is a true professional and steals the show whenever he’s on stage. He even he has his own Twitter account!
There’s a lot of fast dialogue and thick American accents which results in some audibility issues on opening night. I find it better in the second act so hopefully this will have been tweaked by the time you read this!
I probably wouldn’t take my children to see Breakfast at Tiffany’s because the story wouldn’t be relevant enough to their lives to interest them, but there’s not a great deal in it which I’d be worried about them seeing or hearing. The party scene featuring Holly’s drunken, provocative ‘friend’ and her allusion to an STD is probably the least child friendly part and there’s also occasional bad language and inappropriate lines such as:-
“You couldn’t get it up with a crane.”
The film is PG rated and although there are similarities, the stage play is quite different in many ways.
Since watching the show on Monday, I revisited the film and was surprised at how different the two are. In places whole scenes of dialogue are almost verbatim and the song “Moon River” still features, yet there are gulfs between the two versions of the story, influenced in part at least by Truman Capote’s short novel.
Some of the heavily accented dialogue is fast so we find we have to give it our full attention otherwise it’s easy to miss the point.
Audrey Hepburn’s alligator shoes were always going to be difficult to fill. On stage there are no vaseline softened giant close ups of expressive, endearing puppy dog eyes, framed by lavish fake eyelashes, but Georgia puts her own stamp on Holly Golightly. It’s not what I was expecting and she doesn’t share Audrey’s heartbreaking vulnerability, but I like her version. As you’d expect with all her acting experience, she delivers the huge amount of dialogue well but I also enjoy watching her funny, natural looking body language. Matt Barber makes a good Fred too.
Click here for information on booking this show. (affiliate link)
CAST AND CREDITS
Truman Capote’s classic novella has been adapted for the stage by Pulitzer Prize-winning Finalist and Tony and Olivier Award-winning playwright Richard Greenberg (Take Me Out, Three Days of Rain), and contains songs from the era as well as original music by Grant Olding (One Man, Two Gunners).
Breakfast at Tiffany’s is directed by Nikolai Foster, the Artistic Director of Curve, with production design by Matthew Wright, lighting design by Ben Cracknell and sound design by Mic Pool.
It’s a co-production between Colin Ingram, Curve, Peter Kane, William Sinclair and Michael Melnick & Finlay Gray.
Also in the cast of Breakfast at Tiffany’s are Victor McGuire (the sit-coms Trollied and Bread) as Joe Bell, Robert Calvert as Doc, Naomi Cranston as Mag, Charlie De Melo as José, Tim Frances as Rusty Trawler/Editor at 21, Andrew Joshi as Yunioshi, Melanie La Barrie as Mme Spanella, and Sevan Stephan as OJ Berman/Dr Goldman, with Katy Allen and Andy Watkins.
For more information, visit www.breakfastattiffanys.co.uk
BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S
Starring Georgia May Foote
Monday 26th September – Saturday 1st October 2016
Matinees on Wed & Sat @2.30pm
Tickets from £19.40
Concessions available at certain performances
Enjoyed our Breakfast at Tiffany’s review? Then why not check out other show reviews on Practically Perfect Mums?
DISCLOSURE: WE RECEIVED TICKETS FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS REVIEW.
ALL OPINIONS ARE MY/OUR OWN. POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS