Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Theatre Royal, review: ‘Pixie Lott’s performance is unsure’

breakfast at tiffany's

breakfast at tiffany's - Credit: Archant

Pixie Lott shines like the star she is in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

In these dark times, it’s a relief to escape into a beautifully restored west end theatre to watch a romantic comedy.

In fact, Truman Capote’s original story was written during even more terrible times: the second world war.

But the suffering and dying were, then as now, happening elsewhere.

We are transported to New York in the 40s, to be entertained by the loves and longings, the scams and scandals, the ignorance and absurdity of the ridiculously wealthy and their hangers-on. Richard Greenburg’s witty adaptation is grittier and more hard-hitting than the 1961 film, which starred Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly.

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Here there is no doubt about the calculating amorality of Pixie Lott’s Holly.

Every man she meets, whatever his age, or social standing, falls helplessly in love with her. She exploits this to her advantage, discarding each lover as soon as another, more wealthy, enters her orbit.

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Her sole aim is to have a good time; sex and money are essential, as is a certain amount of lying and deception.

Such a scenario is dated now: women, and men, behave differently; attitudes have changed – or have they?

Perhaps not as fundamentally as we assume. Lott looks the part – blonde, slim, youthful and ebullient.

Interpreting popular– and memorable 60s songs (Moon River, People Will Say We’re in Love…) with her own, strong, 21st century personality, she shines like the star she is.

When acting, though, her touch is less sure.

She does not always project her voice clearly, and words are sometimes lost. Her story is narrated through the eyes of Fred. Like all the other men he’s madly in love with her. But he is poor and therefore has no prospect of winning her.

Matt Barber gives a forceful yet sensitive performance, commanding the attention and sympathy of the audience.

The whole cast maintains an unflagging pace throughout this witty and high-spirited production, impeccably directed by Nikolai Foster.

The set and costumes are designed by Matthew Wright, who combines 21st century technology with a real appreciation of the architecture and style of 1940s New York.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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