The Mystery of Miss Holiday Golightly

I have a theory. My name is Hollie, and my dad often chants to me “everyday’s a Hollie-day” in true dad-joke fashion. However, it wasn’t until recently that I made a connection between my name and his favourite film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The film is about flighty Holiday “Holly” Golightly (which just so happens to be a name that my dad loves), who encounters the unnamed narrator, whom she nicknames Fred.

I think that this is secretly where my name came from.

After a year of having the tickets, I finally saw this production at The Mayflower, starring singer Pixie Lott. It was incredibly different to the film version that I have come to love, but holding all of the same messages and basic plot.

he narrator (Matt Barber, but I’ll call him Fred), clearly shares an infatuation with Miss Golightly with the bartender Joe (Victor McGuire). He breaks up many of the scenes with short introductions, allowing for the quick set and costume changes. This allowed the use of minimal set, as Fred and the other characters set the scene for the audience, telling them exactly where they were and what was going on (e.g. the Cadillac Joe hires for Holly to take to the airport, represented only by a red car seat).13029711_1714478005436929_4610962186192183323_o

Pixie Lott is a talented actress, able to fluidly change between Holly’s various accents and personas whilst still embodying the carefree, altogether impractical character. There were some nice touches to this portrayal, as she was the only character to always run off-stage, as well as her many appearances in barefoot. These small details, along with her extravagant costume changes, made the character of Holly really stand out against the rest of the cast in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and contributed to her complex, layered character.

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The show, despite Lott’s musical background, was almost entirely prose. Lott’s American accent was a bit shouty at times, fighting with the acoustics of The Mayflower, making it hard to hear at times. This meant that you had to give the show your undivided attention until the very end, otherwise you missed part of the plot. Lott also spoke very quickly. Although this is how Golightly is portrayed by Audrey Hepburn, this did not translate to stage as well, as it only increased the difficulty in understanding her.

Fred was an astounding narrator, moving with the stage and other characters with ease, almost as if he was a figment of imagination, rather than a person involved with the storyline. His presence captured your focus at all times, even when you could not clearly see him.

Although the part of Cat was rather small in the stage version compared to the film, I was amazed to find that an actual cat was being used onstage. This added to the charm of the show, as well as Holly’s portrayal. This, with Lott’s beautiful renditions of songs such as “Moon River” made the show that bit more magical.

This show is very different to anything I’ve seen before. So be aware that you are not watching the Hepburn film, as this is a much darker, more mysterious portrayal of Holiday Golightly; however, with this in mind, it is still a show not to be missed.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s is showing at The Mayflower as part of its UK tour until 30th April. Book your tickets online at https://www.mayflower.org.uk/Whats_On/BreakfastAtTiffanys2016 or call 02380 711811.

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