It was always going to be difficult to live up to Audrey Hepburn, and there is a good reason that she — complete with subtly streaked, perfectly pinned up-do — is still the poster icon for Truman Capote’s classic tale. I expected the stage production to pale in comparison to the cult classic. Yet, occasionally I am wrong, and this was one of those rare occasions.
The production glittered with class, whilst still remaining true to Capote’s gritty novella. Set in 1943 New York, and to the background of World War Two, the production follows Holly Golightly, a country-girl-turned-New-York-Socialite, whose adventures and exotic lifestyle mesmerise her neighbour Fred, as much as they mesmerise the audience.
Georgia May Foote shines in the role of Holly, perfectly capturing her innocent, yet devious nature. Despite the perfectly sleek, elegantly posed photographs that appear in the programme, Foote’s long blonde hair left is loose, and her wardrobe far from Hepburn’s elegance. The two portrayals do not bare comparison: this is a very different Holly to what we have seen before. Foote shows us a sweeter Golightly, one desperate to please and live up to everything the glitz of New York offers.
Matt Barber, former Downton Abbey star, should have been a strong choice for Fred however, the occasional accent slip and stiff acting left me feeling disappointed by Capote’s narrator. The conflict Fred feels about his attraction to men, despite his enthrallment with Holly, was a theme left unexplored and underdeveloped throughout this production.
Robert Calvert brought an innocent charm to the character of Doc: his line, “Do you think she’ll like me?” provided an intense moment of reality that broke hearts across the stalls. And, despite a somewhat jarring southern accent, Naomi Cranston, was a delightfully hilarious Mag.
Although Bob the cat very nearly stole the show, Foote stepped up to the mark and outshone the rest of the cast and it was her performance that makes the ticket worth it. Set to the backdrop of the New York skyline, whether she’s slamming doors, or strumming her guitar, she revitalises Holly Golightly and is a fresh take on a classic. Audrey Hepburn would be proud.