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Horrors Uproots Audrey to Ambassadors, 28Jun

By • West End
The Menier Chocolate Factory’s West End transfer of sci-fi musical spoof Little Shop of Horrors will move houses next month, finishing at the 650-seat Duke of York’s theatre on Saturday 23 June before reopening on Thursday 28 June at the 400-seat (New) Ambassadors, where it has extended its booking by another two months to 3 November 2007.

The cast – featuring Sheridan Smith, Paul Keating, Mike McShane, Barry James and Alistair McGowan – remains the same at its new home. 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. 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.

Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s musical is loosely based on Roger Corman’s popular low-budget 1960 film. Following its Christmas season at the Southwark-based Chocolate Factory, for which it won this year’s Whatonstage.com for Best Off-West End Production, the Menier revival of Little Shop, directed by Matthew White and designed by David Farley, opened in the West End on 12 March (See WOS TV, 13 Mar 2007).

Currently at the New Ambassadors, the Bush transfer of Steve Thompson’s political comedy Whipping It Up, starring Richard Wilson and Robert Bathurst, finishes its limited season on 16 June 2007. Last month (See News, 4 Apr 2007), the theatre was purchased from the Ambassador Theatre Group by Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen, whose other venues are next-door neighbour the St Martin’s (home of The Mousetrap) and the Victoria Palace (home of Billy Elliot).

Waley-Cohen decided that, from the next production, now confirmed as Little Shop of Horrors, the theatre would drop its ‘new’ prefix and revert to its original name, the Ambassadors. Back at the Duke of York’s, no further productions have yet been announced.

- by Terri Paddock


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