This production of Little Shop of Horrors – book and lyrics by Howard Ashman, music by Alan Menken, based on the film by Roger Corman – is just fabulous. You can see instantly that money has been spent with set and costumes to die for, executed to an enormous degree of perfection by Tom Scutt.
It’s laughs galore, but at the heart of this musical, a serious comment is being made. Little Shop of Horrors is an indictment of the mass consumerism and consumption of 1950s and 1960s America. An issue relevant not just then but also to today’s society too.
With the cast handling the beautiful melodies and structure of the songs wonderfully, there is not a bad number in the show. Special mention has to be made to Jemima Rooper as Audrey, a sensational Matt Willis playing numerous parts whose comic timing was superb, responding to every cue with ease. His standout role was as the girlfriend-beating dentist Orin where the story focuses on mental and physical abuse. Strong stuff handled with a sensitivity that brings pathos to the proceedings.
Marc Antolin as Seymour showed a vocal range that was awesome. Forbes Masson as the owner of the florist shop, Mr Mushnik, whose delivery of the deliberate Jewish gags added a humour to the musical that could not be faltered. However the scene stealing honours have to go to Vicky Vox as Audrey II whose stage presence was phenomenal and very sassy.
Director Maria Aberg’s grip on this piece made the whole thing go off with a bang with the show making abundant references to fact that the quest to fulfil the American Dream comes at a price. A fierce musical delivering a knock-out punch.
Photos by Johan Persson