Everything that the Menier Chocolate Factory create seems to turn to gold. They currently have A Little Night Music in the West End, along with La Cage Aux Folles and have had previous success with Sunday In The Park With George and this zany hit musical.
Based on the film by Roger Corman with book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken, the tale of florist’s assistant Seymour and his singing bloodthirsty plant is charmingly played and a real treat. Gently spoofing 1950’s Sci - Fi movies and almost in the style of Rocky Horror, this small production has a very big heart.
The cast are all game and give suitably over-the-top performances. Damian Humbley’s Seymour is a bumbling geek with a heart of gold, desperate to win the girl. This gifted performer hits the heights vocally and has a knack for slapstick comedy. Clare Buckfield’s Audrey is only half as successful as her vocal range is fairly limited, but she is a great comedic actress.
Alex Ferns steals the show Orin Scrivello the dentist and a number of other roles. He revels in the absurdity of the piece and is a complete gas. Sylvester McCoy, underplays a treat as Mushnik, the florist on skid row. Cathryn Davis, Donna Hines and Nadia Di Mambro are all in fine voice as the singing trio of narrators.
As Audrey II (well, the voice) Clive Rowe brings heart and soul, and Iestyn Evans’ perfect puppeteering brings the big plant to life.
Of the songs, “Suddenly Seymour” and “Feed Me” are the most memorable, and I also like “Skid Row” but in this cast’s capable hands, each number is so well sung that each and every track becomes unforgettable as a result. David Farley’s sturdy set design and almost- human Audrey II bring class to the piece.
The pace in the second act does not retain the zip of the first, and at times the plot does pack in too much at once. But, Little Shop Of Horrors is still one fun-filled musical.
Feed Me More!