Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
Cast: Pixie Lott, Matt Barber, Victor McGuire, Katy Allen, Robert Calvert, Naomi Cranston, Charlie De Melo, Tim Francis, Andrew Joshi, Melanie La Barrie, Sevan Stephan, Andy Watkins.
Forget the comfortable situation employed by Hollywood, the sight of Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard turning the pages of a novel upside down so it almost becomes unrecognisable to the readers who made it much loved in the first place. When it comes to bringing a story to life, most of the time the truest form of sincere adaption comes from the theatre and the actors slogging their guts out, feeling the character’s skin and with the chance that that well loved story might turn out to be received as fickle and as erratic as electricity captured in a vacuum.
Truman Capote’s Breakfast At Tiffany’s wears the mask well, the audience of the Haymarket Theatre arguably being introduced to the darker, more gossip worthy hornet’s nest that the capricious writer intended and the social aspect of an America that was at war with itself in the 1940s as well with facing up to the responsibilities of its place in the post war world in which it had created.
Hollywood has a habit of taking the darkness out of a book in search of a comedy glow and whilst nobody can ever match the quality unearthed by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 adaptation, bringing to the stage means taking a chance with an actor who can bring the wink of the devil to an otherwise angelic face; the mask only slipping when it is fashionable to do so.
There may have been wry smiles dotted in and out of the West End streets when it was announced that Pixie Lott, the popular young singer from London, was to play the role of Holly Golightly, the well worn socialite with more than an eye on the next available man, but there is something very vulnerable about Ms. Lott that rubs off into her portrayal of the character; a masked openness which makes the audience member wish to protect the woman from the dangers she invariably has placed herself in, the exposure of the heart, briefly glimpsed as she breaks down at war’s inevitable taken of lives, is a helplessness that tears at the audience’s compassion.
A very enjoyable adaption of Truman Capote’s novel, one that really allows the dark to flood the light and the almost insane fluff that Hollywood demands in attempts to bring a feel good factor to the world; Pixie Lott and her fellow cast members, including a sensitive, tender portrayal by Victor McGuire as Joe Bell, have given new faith to a classic story.
Ian D. Hall