I seem to be one of the few people in the Western Hemisphere who hasn’t seen the film version of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Of course I am familiar with the iconic images of the personification of elegance, Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly. That Givenchy dress, the pearls, the dark glasses, all have been much imitated over the years but never bettered.
However, I am also one of the fewer still people in the Western Hemisphere who has actually read the Truman Capote book on which the movie is based. I’m aware too that Capote envisaged the fleshy, blousy Marilyn Monroe as his Holly, the country girl who dreams of a life beyond her farm fence and ends up in New York as a ‘companion’ of rich, older men. The Uber chic Hepburn was far removed from his vision of his most famous character.
In the London play currently on at the Haymarket theatre, pop star Pixie Lott is a million miles removed from both actresses again. Her Holly is neither farm girl nor sophisticate. And therein lies the first issue with this stage version. And it’s an issue rather than a problem because Lott is not bad. She’s just not compelling. And if Holly Golightly isn’t compelling, her escapades aren’t either. Lott gives it her all and prettily sings a few songs, including Moonriver but she never quite grabs you.
The lack lustre production doesn’t help either. We don’t even see Tiffanys, for goodness sake. At times, frankly, the play drags. There is never a peak or a moment that makes it all worthwhile. And then the play finishes and you think, eh, that was ok.