Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Lowry, Salford
Dropping an authentic pop princess into the stage adaptation of a cherished novel – which in turn became an iconic movie – must have seemed like marketing gold.
Pixie Lott comes with some acting credentials and her name certainly helped to attract one of the most diverse opening-night audiences, for a drama, seen in some time.
What her teeny-bop fans expected, some with cartons of popcorn, cannot be gauged.
Or for that matter how their parents coped with the fallout from a story that in the cinema at least was rather more coy in its approach to the central character Holly Golightly.
In this stage adaptation Richard Greenberg maybe comes closer to author Truman Capote’s original intent, to focus on an attractive ingénue whose ‘little girl lost’ persona makes her prey to Big Bad Men in a Big Bad City. This Holly is a hooker and the knight in armour who comes to her apparent rescue is much less sure of his own sexuality.
So it is a harder-edged and more transgressive love story than the movie and comes without the charm and elegance.
Of course Holly is not the first Southern belle to be accustomed to the kindness of strangers and director Nikolai Foster may have got away with making this a contained and intimate drama.
Instead it all comes on like the biggest and brashest of stage musicals where someone forgot to bring the score.
Sets sweep in and down like the start of another big number and there are even scenes that seem lifted straight from Chicago or Guys and Dolls.
Musical adaptations of the story have been tried unsuccessfully in the past.
Pixie Lott looks more at ease delivering the play’s famed incidental song Moon River, besides People Will Say We’re In Love and a third song written for the show Hold Up My Dying Day.
But her character, and even that of her would-be saviour Fred (Matt Barber) struggle to convince you of any redeeming features amongst a tangle of loud and frankly annoying folk caught up in their lives.