Alfred Hickling’s article appeared in the Guardian, 5/18.)

The original Pygmalion transformed a lump of stone into a living, breathing woman, in what might be considered history's first cosmetic makeover. The programme for Greg Hersov's production of George Bernard Shaw's play matches images of the mythic sculptor with contemporary Pygmalions Trinny and Susannah, alongside that latter-day lump of stone Susan Boyle. Though Hersov is careful not to push these parallels too far, his staging vividly brings to mind the callous egotism of modern-day Svengalis.


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