Scene from Cameron Mackintosh's production of My Fair Lady

Scene from Cameron Mackintosh's production of My Fair Lady

Cameron Mackintosh's production of My Fair Lady opened at the National Theatre in March 2001, before transferring to the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in the West End. For such a lavish show it broke even remarkably quickly, covering its considerable costs in less than four months, thanks in large part to the casting of former Eastenders star Martine McCutcheon in the role of Eliza (seen here, very suspicious of Jonathan Pryce's Henry Higgins). Ironically, due to poor health, McCutcheon actually gave fewer performances than her understudies during the run at the National Theatre, and had to pull out of the West End transfer altogether on doctors' advice. The show had a very successful run nonetheless. George Bernard Shaw's story of the flower girl transformed into a lady, plus the superb lyrics by Alan J. Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe, had as much appeal for the 21st century as it had for audiences in 1956. Wonderful romantic melodies like 'I could have danced all night' and 'The Street Where You Live', as well as knees-up favourites like 'I'm Getting Married in the Morning' still send audiences home singing.