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My very Fair Lady; LAST NIGHT'S FIRST NIGHT.

Byline: Alun Palmer

IT'S a familiar story. EastEnder gets ideas above her station, leaves everyone she knows behind so she can make it big, but ends up crawling back home with her tail between her legs.

No, it's not the Jessie Wallace Story but Pygmalion, George Bernard tale of social division and class. And classy this production most certainly is.

Rupert Everett is the suave but misogynistic Professor Henry Higgins who, for a bet, turns flower girl Eliza Doolittle into a duchess.

As Eliza, Ex-EastEnder Kara Tointon is at first more Dick van Dyke than genuine cockney. But, as her transformation progresses, Kara displays a real comic talent.

While Everett's odious manipulator becomes more human, she shines and is a delight to watch.

Shaw dissected the class divide with wit, elegance and humanity. Now, with a government full of Old Etonians, this play is more timely than ever. Class war has never been so funny.

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ELIZA Kara Tointon
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Title Annotation:News; Teasers
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 26, 2011
Words:160
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