Richard Greenberg’s sophisticated adaptation needs to be seen. It will lure in many fans of the film but this is a more loyal adaptation of Truman Capote’s 1958 novella.
Audiences may initially struggle with the casting of Pixie Lott as Holly Golightly as she is more Marilyn Monroe (and also aspects of the Brittany Murphy) than Hepburn but as a result her appearance is more similar to Capote’s Golightly as means that Lott can make a difficult role, Golightly is spoilt, entitled but charming and beautiful, her own. It is also a showcase for Lott’s singing but it very much feels like a soundtrack within a play rather than a musical. Lott is fantastic and this reminds me of when I saw Beverley Knight in The Bodyguard. I hope Lott has a future in both plays and musicals.
The highlight is Matt Barber (well known for his appearance in Downton Abbey as Atticus) who plays ‘Fred’, the narrator and Holly’s confidant. The comparisons to George Peppard are inevitable but Barber oozes charm and is so confident in the role that he makes this stage adaptation his own. The second half is where the story really picks up and builds on the first half, where we meet the characters but don’t really get a chance to get to know them.
Set in the 1940s the set is simple but stunning, with splashes of Tiffany’s Blue and projections of New York and stunning rain scenes. The support is strong too, particularly Charlie De Melo, Melanie La Barrie and Victor McGuire as Jose, Mme Spanella and barman Joe Bell and the scenes with the cast really energise the play so the audience appreciate the intimate scenes between Fred and Holly.
There is also a wonderful and beautiful cat called Bob, who is one of the finest animal actors I have seen. This is a really sophisticated and classy production. It keeps the cinematic beauty of the film but makes its own mark. The Theatre Royal Haymarket is a stunning theatre that can often overwhelm a set and its cast but the design and direction makes this feel much more intimate, which is needed to really get to grips with Golightly’s story. Even if you do not get a chance to see this in London the production will be touring and is well worth your time.