Pygmalion- George Bernard Shaw :2/52 (A Play)

Hear yourself read

It took me back to school where we had the Interhouse Dramatics every year. The winning play used to get staged for Parents Day. Ofcourse I never got to act in one. It was one of those things that were dominated by the boarders and maybe a few Anglo Indian dayscholars. But this weekend, I got to ‘act’ in a play. I was both Henry Higgins and Eliza Dolittle.

It is difficult to read a play without doing the voices. Having watched My Fair Lady, I think I did a great Eliza in my head. But other than the bad grammar, the Garns and the Aaa woo oo oh sound, there wasn’t much of an accent. No Rain in Spain or Just you wait ‘Enry ‘Iggins. Still, it was a delightful read. Henry Higgins’ unapologetic rudeness was shocking and totally unacceptable, but it was so much fun. I was supposed to get angry at the way he treated the poor girl, calling her names, talking about her like a used gumboot at times, but I just couldn’t. I wanted more insults, innocent insults that as rude as the were, weren’t intended to hurt. And Mrs. Pearce getting worked up about his ‘swearing’ was adorable. Asking him not to use a swear word that begins with the letter B was bloody hilarious. I imagined a modern day adaptation where Professor Higgins uses the F word and Mrs Pearce dies of shock.

I’m not sure what I feel about the ending. The ending of the actual play, I liked. It ended on a hopeful note and the reader/ viewer gets to decide whatever they want. The ending of the movie, I loved. It was what we all wanted. But the afterword in the book where the reader is given the what-happened-next story was a downer. Like those modern day after- everafter endings of fairy tales where Cinderella and the Prince get married and then divorced.

But I’m glad I read this book. It was part of my 2015 Reading Challenge where I have a play on the list. I should read this again sometime. And this time, I’ll do the voices out loud.