The musical My Fair Lady chronicles the lessons of Professor Henry Higgins as he attempts to educate and culturally transform Eliza Doolittle into a proper-speaking lady of England. Their lessons allow us to explore social themes that are still important in our society today. These themes include social discrimination and linguistic profiling.
The Story of My Fair Lady
Eliza Doolittle, a young woman who hails from East London and possesses a dialect that is described as cockney, finds herself in speech lessons with an overconfident and somewhat pompous Professor Henry Higgins. He makes it his goal to rid her of the cockney dialect that is common to working-class or middle-class Londoners during the 1950s.
The social experiment to teach the “proper” way to pronounce words takes her out of her middle-class lifestyle and has her attending horse races and balls that the upper class or London elite attend.
Sadly, Professor Higgins and his trusty side-kick, Colonel Pickering, end up making Eliza feel less than human as they make strides toward transforming her. Eventually, she flees from the Professor who begins to understand that he is, indeed, in love with Eliza.
Some of the more popular musical numbers in My Fair Lady include “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly,” “The Rain in Spain,” and “I Could Have Danced All Night.” This beloved musical is based upon George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion and with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe.
Backdrops for My Fair Lady
London is the main setting of the musical and the specific locations within the city include the East London streets and tenements, Professor Higgins’ study, the Opera set, and the garden. Here are some of the backdrops we offer that can help set your performance of My Fair Lady.
The Streets of London
To set the stage for scenes that include the streets of London, this backdrop titled Street Legs–My Fair Lady Backdrop #2053 displays brick storefronts and a pub with a Guinness sign in the window.
We also offer this Street Legs–My Fair Lady Backdrop #2039 in coordination with the above backdrop. It shows brick storefronts selling cigarettes and looking for players.
The Professor’s Study
To set the stage for the scenes that take place in Professor Higgins’ study the following backdrops would be perfect with walls of books, staircases, and large windows. This option, called Higgins Study with Backing Backdrop #0382 provides specifications for a staircase that can be built in the back of the two backdrops.
The Ballroom Backdrop
During the scene where Professor Higgins exposes Eliza to a ball, the Conservatory Backdrop #NO549 would be appropriate. This backdrop shows a neutral Victorian interior with center stairs leading up to a conservatory.
For all 50 backdrops in our collection designed for My Fair Lady, please visit our show suggestion page.