REVIEW: Breakfast at Tiffany’s at The Lowry, Salford

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THE theatrical adaptation of the well know novella, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, arrived in The Lowry Theatre in Salford last night. Our entertainment reporter, Abi White, was there to see what the evening had to offer…

Starring Pixie Lott as the character of Holly Golightly, the 25-year-old from Essex began her music career at the young age of 15. By 2009, she had released her multi-platinum status debut album, featuring the popular hits, ‘All About Tonight’ and ‘Mama Do (Uh Oh)’.

Now turning her hand to theatre for Richard Greenberg’s adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the singer stars alongside a wonderfully talented cast in the performance at The Lowry Theatre until April 16.

Although the script differs from the film adaptation, Greenberg manages to portray Truman Capote’s classic novella of an un-named writer (who everyone calls Fred) and an enigmatic New York girl, Golightly. This adaptation reflects the original setting of the 1940’s New York, as opposed to the glamorous 1960’s, which is portrayed in the film adaptation.

In this production, the men are at war and the ones unfit are left behind in a world that had recently gone through the great depression of the 1930’s. Fred, unfit to go to war due to his asthma, lives upstairs above Holly and struggles with his writing career, where as Holly who lives downstairs lives off her looks and middle-aged suitors.

The set is ever changing, but constantly reverts back to the two New York apartments of the two main characters. The set is very well designed, with props and set design being extremely relevant to the era. The changing costumes of Golightly are also noticeable, with beautiful outfits, again, very fitting with the era.

This adaptation certainly centres on Holly and Fred, with the rest of the cast given much smaller roles. ‘Fred,’ played by Matt Barber, then narrates the story and makes the adaptation a whole lot more understandable for those in the audience who were unfamiliar with the novella and the film adaptation- bringing the piece together.

Despite the performance being based around Holly and Fred, two of the characters with smaller parts were particularly memorable. The comedic role of Madame Spanella, played by Melanie La Barrie added a dash of humour to the performance, whilst Bob the cat delivered an outstanding performance. He was an impeccably well-behaved cat, was absolutely adorable and became a memorable part of the production.

As far as the role of Golightly goes, Lott was brave to take on the character of the naïve, yet adventurous and mysterious character. With the performance of Audrey Hepburn to live up to, Lott certainly had the pressure on her shoulders…

However, Lott did not disappoint and was perfectly cast for the role. She added emotion, humour and class to her performance, and also performed solo acoustic numbers teamed with her distinctively soulful voice. Whilst there is no big production of the song, in the case of this production, less is definitely more.

Including the iconic song ‘Moon River’ amongst the small handful of songs, it was almost a shame that the adaptation didn’t provide more opportunities for Lott to display her singing abilities.

The adaptation as a whole shows promise, and would appeal to avid theatregoers and fans of both the novella and the film adaptation. Although sometimes difficult to follow, it really is a blast to the past, and every character, despite having smaller roles; holds a meaningful place to carry the story.

By Abigail White
@abigailwhiteuos

Photo credit to Sean Ebsworth Barnes

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A blast to the past!
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A Quays News entertainment reporter who covers reviews, interviews and features across a variety of genres.

23 Comments

  1. Saw it yesterday – couldn’t hear a word she said- too strident, went with a coach party and we all thought the same, very disappointed nearly left at the interval – we all thought it was a load of rubbish

    • Gary Stansfield on

      Have to agree with this comment. An extremely disappointing production which was unnecessarily complex and difficult to follow. Great gusto from the two leads but it was too “shouty.” Whilst the production reflected the book and the darker 1940’s period, rather than the film’s more glamorous 60’s period, the gloom was only rarely lifted, usually when Pixie Lott broke into song. Her rendition of Moon River had the hairs rising on the back of the neck! A poor and dull production were the mutterings from all around!

  2. Dreadful show, terrible American accents , words unintelligible. The cast didn’t talk they shouted every word. None of our party enjoyed it, some didn’t even come back after the interval! Does the producer think that shouting and flinging arms around is acting?

    • Pauline burke on

      You’re absolutely spot on there. Lott was terrible, all my friends said the same.her shouty voice grated on the ears, like a bad impression of bette Davis

  3. I agree with the above. Found it difficult to follow and acting very wooden. Our local amdram could have done better. Went as a coach group and we were all disappointed. Several of us fell asleep it was so uninspiring.

  4. Disappointed! Was lloking forward to good cast and play but something was sadly lacking. Agree with previous reviews about false accents, shouting etc. We also would have left at half time if we hadnt been with friends. We found out after they would also have been happy to leave too!

  5. We went tonight and, as you can see, we are home before the end as we also left at the interval, as did many others!
    It was boring…..too boring to analyse. Such a disappointment and a waster of hard earned money!

  6. Worst play I’ve ever seen – and I’ve seen a lot. Bored out of my mind and nearly fell asleep in the first half!!only redeeming part was the cat! What a star he was! Unmemorable experience

  7. Graham Boothman on

    I was very disappointed with the whole show. I couldn’t hear the dialogue clearly . The Lyric is a large theatre and without microphones the audibility was poor and at the interval I had only a sketchy understanding of the play.

  8. Awful production. Why were all the actors shouting? Nodded off a couple of times in first half, the theatre was very hot. Couldn’t hear half the words because of the shouting. Have seen far, far better amateur productions. Don’t go!!!

    • What kind of people leave at the interval? Many plays/shows etc pick up in the second half. It’s like leaving a football match early & missing the dramatic comeback or an amazing goal. Stay for what you paid for & give it a chance!

  9. RUTH Hepburn on

    I agree with the comments. We left after 20mins, her shouty, grating bad Bette Davis style of speaking was I’m afraid to say unbearable!
    Wasted money!

  10. Saw the show tonight – beyond bad & most disappointing. Very unengaging, struggled to hear dialogue which enabled me to have a little nap! Considered leaving at interval but thought it could only get better – how wrong I was!!!

  11. I saw this today and really enjoyed it. I found the characters quirky and engaging and thought Pixie took on an iconic role with bravery. No awkward impersonation of Hepburn, I thought she made the character her own. The three songs were stunningly performed and the whole show left me with a beautiful bitter-sweet melancholy. I am sad that so many people on here are disappointed – I can only say how much I enjoyed it.

  12. This was a very average show. Compared to others we have seen at The Lowry we were very disappointed indeed. The whole show was very poor and at times badly acted too.

  13. It was a terrible show. Very dull, could barely understand what was said with the heavy accent of the main actress. More of a mimic of the film than any originality of acting. My partner slept through the second half, and freinds stayed in the bar after the interval. Don’t waste your money.

  14. Thank goodness we only paid £10 for our tickets! One of the worst plays we’ve ever seen. I don’t blame the actors though, it’s the script, far too much dialogue for the two main characters. I do hope Pixie gets another chance, it’s not fair to judge her on this awful production though she did sing beautifully.

  15. Katie Barrett on

    We saw this play last night & I loved it! We sat near the front & had no issues with sound. Pixie made the character Holly her own & was delightful. Her acting was flawless & she held the whole play together. I didn’t find the story difficult to follow & loved the sets. More of a play than a musical but the songs she sang were beautiful. I think Pixie is destined for Hollywood musicals , she’s a true star!

  16. The only thing great about this show was the props and the set. Those are the talented guys. The rest was just plain HAM ACTING, pretty much across the board. Pixie Lott talked about making the role her own – well, there is the small problem that you’ve got to have acting talent to do that. No, I was not looking for Hepburn. I was looking for some layers to her character, and she delivered (as others before me have so eloquently put it) a shouty, bad, one dimensional Bette Davis impersonation. Capote’ s greatest skill was showing the vulnerability in his characters – if I wouldn’t know better, I’d say the director despised Capote and is mocking his work by letting this come out on stage this way. I have seen bad theatre before, plenty of times, but for the first time I just walked out. Maybe because I don’t really know who Pixie Lott is…yes, she has a good voice (don’t know her songs, etc.) but her just being herself does not impress me. I can’t believe this is in the West End.

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