Dr. Waseem Anwar
13th June, 2022
Abstract This research paper aims to contrast George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion as a theatrical production with its film adaptation My Fair Lady, in order to explore to what extent do the technological, budget, costume, makeup and set advancement of the cinema take the theatrical spectacle further to its realization. I shall be comparing specifically Shaw’s own direction of the play Pygmalion (1914) staring Herbert Beerbohm Tree as phonetics professor Henry Higgins and Mrs. Patrick Campbell as Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle. With the 1964 American musical drama film adaptation My Fair Lady, directed by George Cukor, starring Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle and Rex Harrison as Henry Higgins. I will be focusing on how both productions differ with regards to space and time management, technological advancement, vastness or restriction of stage setting, role of the director, extravagance of costumes, overall budget, and the audience the both cater to. All these aspects will be discussed with reference to how well they present the idea of the writer on stage or on screen and what limitations there are.
Key Words: Theatre, Cinema, Technology, Setting, Costumes.
STATEMENT: Pygmalion by Bernard Shaw is an example of dramatic and theatrical skills that get bound to represent the stagecraft of Shaw’s (Modern) times, but with a difference. However, the later cinematic versions of the play reflect an adaptation of Shaw’s techniques, thoughts, and themes, so that they are furnished with the latest technologies. One example is the “Best Picture” winner re-named as a hit musical, “My Fair Lady.” Agreeing or disagreeing with the statement, add your own critical/ theoretical perspective to first develop an “Abstract” of your own and then write a paper to elaborate the point of view you support.