My Fair Lady


Chairman's Chat

The Story




Chairman's Chat...
by Ray Fisher

The last 12 months have shot by – I find it difficult to believe that I’ve been HAODS’ Chairman for a year – a year which I have much enjoyed. We have done 2 great shows in the last 12 months, Carousel and South Pacific. Both shows were a credit to HAODS and were enjoyed by the audiences.

I feel I must mention that, sadly this year, we lost one of our founder members, Peter Gumbrill. Some of you will remember his rendition of Professor Higgins in 1969 and many other leading characters he so professionally portrayed. In more recent times, Peter may have helped you in his capacity as Front of House Manager for HDC at this theatre.

Sir NormanIn June, we had our 50th Dinner, which was a super event. We were delighted that our President Sir Norman Wisdom was able to attend. When asked to propose the toast to the members, Sir Norman said that he was not too good at speeches and instead gave an impromptu rendition of two songs – a musical challenge which the band took in their stride and an unexpected cabaret that thrilled the guests.

HAODS has welcomed lots of new members in the last year – many of whom you will see on stage in this production. As you can see elsewhere in this programme, in April next year we have a double bill of Trial by Jury and HMS Pinafore. It is nearly 10 years since we last did a Gilbert & Sullivan musical and for this, our forthcoming production; the Directors and Musical Director will be from within the Society – the first time for many years.

It is very exciting that HAODS has managed to get permission to stage Jesus Christ Superstar in the autumn of 2005, but we are trying to come to terms with a projected budget of over £20k! In an attempt to increase our possible revenue you will have noticed that My Fair Lady opened on Monday and will run for 7 performances, a huge challenge for all. We get in to The Capitol on the Sunday morning, then have to build the set, set the lighting and sound, have a band call, a technical rehearsal AND a dress rehearsal all in one day. This takes dedication and enthusiasm!

HAODS has done well over the last fifty years and can do better in the next fifty – with the help of our members and the support of our audiences. Thank you all.

The Story...

London 1912

The story begins in Covent Garden, when Professor Henry Higgins, an expert in phonetics, comes across Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower seller. Higgins begins to take notes and Eliza, immediately assuming that she is in some sort of trouble, loudly protests her innocence. The commotion attracts Colonel Hugh Pickering, a keen student of Indian dialects, who by happy coincidence, has just returned from India to meet Professor Higgins. The two men discuss their shared interest in linguistics and Higgins states that it is only Eliza’s “kerbstone English” that separates her from the upper classes. He claims that, within six months, he could transform her from a “draggletail guttersnipe” and pass her off as a duchess.

Although Eliza is upset by Higgins’ insults and arrogant attitude, she does dream of a better life. Her wish is to be a lady in a flower shop and for that; she needs to “talk more genteel.” So the next day, Eliza visits Higgins and offers him a shilling a lesson to teach her to speak like a lady; and Higgins and Colonel Pickering make a bet on the outcome.

The task to tame Eliza’s vowels and find her missing ‘h’s’ is hot easy; but after three months, she is ready to make her debut at the Ascot Races. Here it becomes apparent that it takes more than elocution to be a lady. Her interesting “small talk” does more than raise a few eyebrows. But despite, or perhaps due to, her social lapses, she captures the heart of young Freddie Eynsford-Hill.

The Embassy Ball for the Queen of Transylvania provides the setting for Eliz’s biggest challenge. There are some anxious moments for Higgins and Pickering when Eliza is introduced to Zoltan Karparthy, a Hungarian linguistics expert, famed for unmasking impostors. However, Eliza enchants everyone and proves that she is indeed now a lady. As Professor Higgins and Colonel Pickering celebrate success now that the bet is over, Eliza is left wondering what is to become of her…

My Fair Lady – NODA Review – November 2004

Pearly Queen dancingCelebrating its 50th year HAODS chose to tackle one of the most demanding shows available to amateur groups, Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady. Much depends on the acting calibre of the two main principals playing Professor Higgins and Eliza Doolittle. Kevin Summers as Higgins brought an authoritative air to his performance but lacked a little of the essential vulnerability of Higgins’ character. It was interesting to see a younger actor relating to an older Pickering played by the splendid Howard Collis. Kevin has a good singing voice and delivered the fiendishly wordy songs with ease. Roz Hall playing Eliza is a competent actor who handled the transition from flower girl to aristocrat well, although she seemed a little less comfortable in the higher register of her singing voice. The two main company numbers suffered from the restrictions of being performed at the front of the stage. ‘Get Me to the Church on Time’ and the ‘Ascot Gavotte’ deserve a more expansive staging. The Ascot tableau lost some of its anticipated impact. There were assured performances from Doolittle, Zoltan Kaparthy and particularly Mrs Higgins who brought a graceful presence to this cameo part. ‘On the Street Where you Live’ is one of the most romantic of the show songs. A little more direction and conviction was needed here. Overall a competent production making good use of some new principal faces from the HAODS ranks

Duncan Sandwell – Noda



Eliza Doolittle

Roz Hall

Professor Henry Higgins

Kevin Summers

Colonel Hugh Pickering

Howard Collis

Alfred Doolittle

Chris Shanks

Mrs Pearce

Jan Critchley

Mrs Higgins

Jean Salmon

Freddie Eynsford-Hill

Philip Chadwell

Mrs Eynsford-Hill

Stephanie Swain

Professor Zoltan Karparthy

Chris Hampton


Brian Swain


Tim Shepherd

Costermongers and Flower Girls, Maids and Servants, Ascot Spectators and Guests at the Embassy Ball played by:


Lynn Andrews

Claire Banks

Amy Blaskett

Nikki Bristo

Elesa Bussey

Lois Donnelly

Ruth Douglas

Rachael Down

Irene Elborn

Rachel Farrant

Katie Frampton

Katherine Jones

Tess Kennedy

Julie Mileham

June Randall

Alison Shapley

Jackie Shepherd

Gill Tanner

Christine Tomkin


Stephen Gadd

Anthony Garman

Jonathan Mittaz

Edwin Skaer

David Thomas

The Production Crew...

Production Team

Director & Choreographer

Yvonne Chadwell

Musical Director

John Vinall

Production Manager

Howard Collis

Front of House Manager

Iris Wright

Stage Manager

Tim Lawrence

Lighting Board Operator

Tony Cloutt

Follow Spot Operator 1

Keith Greenwood

Follow Spot Operator 2

James Simmons

Lighting Designer

Tim Lawrence

Sound Operator

Steve McEvoy

Properties Manager

Steff Dance


Esther Betts


Barbara Gumbrill


Peter Hooker

Box Office Manager

David Sumner

Publicity & Programme

Mary Lejeune


Ray Fisher

Stage Crew


T im Ayres

Tony Francis

David Fuller

Adrian Kidwell

Nigel Cloutt

Brian Greenwood

Duncan Morton

Terry Swoffer

Peter Shapley


Properties Crew

Francesca Brindle

Alix Chadwell

Gus Fryatt

Stella Lillywhite

Tammy McLachlan

Laura Woodgate

Front of House Stewards

Linda Crump

Helen Hilliard

Gary Cadman

Siobhan McMahon

Ron Lee

Katherine Taylor

Olive Gardner

Ken Taylor

Peter Gardner


Green Room Steward

Carrie Collis