Two Pints of Lager’s Will Mellor, Kathryn Drysdale and Natalie Casey turned up at the Duke of York’s Theatre last night (12 March 2007, previews from 6 March) to cheer on their screen co-star Sheridan Smith in her latest stage role, starring as flower-shop assistant Audrey in the Menier Chocolate Factory revival of spoof sci-fi musical Little Shop of Horrors, now transferred to the West End following a sell-out run at its 150-seat Southwark home.

The original Menier cast – including Paul Keating, Barry James and Mike McShane as well as Smith – reprise their performances in the West End, newly joined by TV impressionist Alistair McGowan as Audrey’s sadistic boyfriend and dentist, Orin Scrivello.

Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s sci-fi spoof musical is loosely based on Roger Corman’s low-budget 1960 film. Nerdy orphan Seymour (Keating) works in Mr Mushnik’s Skid Row florist shop, along with girl of his dreams Audrey (Smith), who is dating Scrivello (McGowan). After a solar eclipse, Seymour discovers a peculiar plant with a bloodthirsty appetite, which he names Audrey II. As his infatuation with the real Audrey grows, so does the plant (voiced by McShane).

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For 1st Night Photos, our Whatsonstage.com photographer Dan Wooller was on hand, with members of the company, for the Little Shop of Horrors curtain call at the Duke of York’s Theatre and the post-show party at the National Gallery Cafe. Other first night guests included Harry Shearer, Stewart Lee, Daniel Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tim McInnerny, Jeremy Edwards, Maria Friedman, Norman Pace, Peter Straker, Derren Brown, Samuel Barnett and, stopping by with flowers for Sheridan Smith after his own performance in Underneath the Lintel, Richard Schiff.

The 1986 film version of the musical starred Rick Moranis as Seymour, Steve Martin as the dentist and Ellen Greene as Audrey, a role Greene originated on stage. Little Shop of Horrors was last seen in the West End at the Comedy Theatre, where it ran for two years from October 1983. In that premiere production, Barry James, now playing flower-shop owner Mushnik, starred as Seymour.

The current revival – which first opened at the 150-seat Menier in November 2006 and won this year’s Whatsonstage.com Award for Best Off-West End Production, prior to its current transfer - is directed by Matthew White and designed by David Farley. Other roles in Little Shop of Horrors are played by Jenny Fitzpatrick, Katie Kerr, Melitsa Nicola and Matthew Eames. The production has choreography by Lynne Page, musical supervision by Caroline Humphris, lighting design by Paul Anderson and sound design by Gareth Owen.

- by Terri Paddock


** DON’T MISS our Whatsonstage.com Outing to LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS on 5 April 2007 - including a FREE programme & access to our post-show reception with the cast - all for just £27.50!! - click here for more details! **