Something very exciting happened! One of my all time favourite films, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, is now also a play, and I got to go and see it at The Lowry last Tuesday.
The play is actually adapted from the Truman Capote novella, rather than the 1961 Audrey Hepburn classic. And so Holly Golightly (Pixie Lott) is played as a grittier, less saccharine character than we’re used to, resonating more with Capote’s original country-turned-New-York-party-girl. Tim Auld of The Telegraph described Lott’s performance as “less slinky cat, more frisky kitten”.
The curtain lifted to reveal Holly standing in front of Tiffany’s window – an adaptation of the iconic Hepburn image – singing a teaser of Moon River in a thunder storm. The staging continued in this simple, pacy and effective way, with settings and props emerging almost effortlessly from both sides of the stage and from above.
Naturally, there were many costume changes, all classic 1940s and as elegant as we’ve come to expect from the vivacious Holly Golightly. Set and costume designer Matthew Wright did a fantastic job encapsulating the mood and style of the era.
‘Fred’ (Matt Barber) lives in the apartment above Holly in a typical New York Brownstone, and they quickly become friends after her insistent ringing of his bell at one, two and three in the morning. Barber also narrates the story, taking the audience along with him as his fascination with Holly intensifies.
Holiday ‘Holly’ Golightly leads an “American geisha” lifestyle, surrounded by the wealthiest men she can find, whilst hiding a mysterious and sad backstory, and she refuses to let ‘Fred’ tame her. “Never love a wild thing”, she shouts. “You can’t give your heart to a wild thing.”
Described as a play with songs, Pixie Lott sings three beautiful numbers, Moon River, of course, being one of them. Her raspy and captivating voice lends itself to the hidden country girl inside of her and strengthens the emotion of her performance.
The entire production is intense, surprising and touching, and Pixie Lott plays a passionate, highly memorably Holly Golightly, a character we all know and love: reinvented.