The sell-out run of Breakfast at Tiffany’s at The Lowry proves how excited theatre-goers are at the prospect of bringing such an iconic piece to the stage. The current production, directed by Nikolai Foster, Artistic Director at Leicester’s Curve, makes its whistle stop in Salford prior to its eventual home in the West End this June.
Pop star Pixie Lott makes her play debut as the flighty and irresistible Holly Golighty with Matt Barber, best known to Downton Abbey fans as Atticus Aldridge, taking on the role of Fred, the infatuated narrator.
Fans of the 1961 movie, starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard, might be a little disappointed when they flock to see this latest piece as it stays more true to the Truman Capote novella that the film was based on, adapted for the stage by Richard Greenburg. Greenburg has used Capote’s style to great effect but in doing so presents the audience with a harsher story to digest with no Hollywood style ending in sight.
Playing Holly, the girl that every woman wanted to be like and every man wanted to be with, is no mean feat, especially when there will undoubtedly be comparisons made to the late great Hepburn who made the role her own. Pixie struggles to capture the infectious nature of Holly at times despite her over enthusiastic portrayal of the fantasist. Whilst Lott’s accent is raspy and full of maturity she makes Holly more of a child than a sex pot which loses the some of the depth of the character, hailed by many, as the ‘American Geisha’.
This version of Breakfast at Tiffany’s is described as a play with songs and there are three lovely numbers performed from the era in which the story is set; Moon River, People Will Say We’re in Love and Hold Up My Dying Day. Pixie’s vocals are where she truly excels as she glides through each one effortlessly with little more accompaniment than a guitar. Her opening of the show to Moon River is beautifully haunting.
Great set design on display from Matthew Wright as he cleverly creates the illusion of the New York apartment block with levels being flown down from the gods like elevators transporting you to every floor. There’s also some nice characterisation from other cast members, Naomi Cranston as Holly’s on and off best friend Mag and Melanie La Barrie who puts in a kooky performance as fellow resident Mme Spanella who has a penchant for going about her business on roller skates!
On the whole Breakfast at Tiffany’s left me feeling a little flat and my high expectations were never quite lived up to. As the tour progresses and Lott settles into the role things may change but at the moment this production is still a rough diamond that perhaps needs a few areas cleaned up for it to truly sparkle.
Runs at The Lowry till Saturday 16th April