Gigi at the Tabard Theatre
The well-loved story Gigi made its revival at the Tabard Theatre last night, after more than 60 years away from the London stage. A 1944 novella by Colette, it was brought to the stage in 1951 as a Broadway comedy starring Audrey Hepburn and later turned into a musical and a film.
16 year-old Gigi, a carefree and naïve schoolgirl from a family of courtesans, is groomed by her aunt Alicia and grandmother Inez to suit the supposed desires of much older family friend and wealthy playboy Gaston, with whom she often plays cards. The project of “launching” Gigi begins, with the young girl undergoing training under the watchful eye of her aunt who seeks to equip her with the skills to succeed in securing this business transaction.
Produced and directed by Mark Giesser, this is a bold adaptation of the story that brings to the fore the schemes and survival strategies of women in the early 20th century. Daisy May delights as the titular character, delivering her role with great charm and all the convictions of a young girl who values not material riches, but the joy of sincere relationships and the beauty around her.
Richard Lynson’s performance as a man who identifies his growing love for Gigi is convincing and heartfelt, with the stage chemistry between himself and May palpable. Pamela Miles’ delivery of the family matriarch and teacher provides comedy and a divergence of thought and reason, while in contrast Prue Clarke’s Inez adds maternal feeling and concern.
Gigi at the Tabard Theatre is a true nod to the original play, retaining prominent grit and darker themes so integral to the story, whilst remaining light and funny.
Photos: Richard Davenport
Gigi is on at the Tabard Theatre from 29th October until 21st November 2015, for further information or to book visit here.