London & Tour
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
Book & Lyrics Howard Ashman.
Music Alan Menken
New Wimbledon Theatre, Wimbledon SE19 1QG to 27 August 2016 and then on tour to 22 November,
Tues – Sat 7.30pm Mat Sat 2.30pm
Runs 2hr One interval.
TICKETS: 020 8545 7900
Full tour dates below
Review: William Russell 23 August.
The little shop is back in business and blooming.
Based on an old Roger Corman horror movie starring a young Jack Nicholson this 1982 Ashman & Menken musical is something of a one joke affair, but the joke is a good one. And it still works. A sweltering audience at the launch of the tour in the Wimbledon Theatre, which should have been comatose from the heat, was on its feet at the end and laughed throughout.
The plot is simple. Geek flower shop assistant Seymour finds a strange plant one day, takes it back to the shop run by Mr Mushnik, and it just keeps growing. The plant becomes a celebrity, customers come out of nowhere for flowers – the shop is on skid row – and all seems well. Seymour,in love with Audrey, the other assistant, a sweet girl whose dentist boyfriend beats her up, names the plant Audrey Two.
But the plant is bloodthirsty and has to be fed.
What follows is pretty well what one expects, but things are kept moving along by a trio of singers, a send up of the Supremes, who comment on the action and it all ends happily – for some, although not all.
Sam Lupton is an endearing Seymour, Stephanie Clift a suitably sweet dumb blonde Audrey and Neil Nicholas does a terrific voice over for Audrey 11. The joke about Orin, the sadistic dentist was always pretty dubious and to work really needs a genuine comic playing him – in the 1986 movie he was played by Steve Martin to considerable effect.
The ”star” name in this touring version is the singer and X Factor graduate Rhydian – he does well enough as Orin and several other walk on characters, but comedy is not his forte and things become tasteless rather than outrageous. There is nothing funny about a man giving a woman black eyes and bruises or making her wear handcuffs.
Audrey Two is manipulated by puppeteer Josh Wilmott and a most impressive performance he/she gives. Perhaps the climax is not quite as cataclysmic as in some previous stagings, but that is to quibble. This is a jolly good night out.
30 Aug – 4 Sept Opera House, Belfast; 6-10 Sept New Victoria theatre, Woking; 13-17 Sept Waterside theatre, Aylesbury; 20-24 Sept Garrick theatre, Lichfield; 27 Sept – 1 Oct Alexandra theatre, Birmingham; 3-8 Oct New theatre, Cardiff; 11-15 Oct
Bridlington Spa; 11-22 Oct Everyman theatre, Cheltenham; 26-29 Oct Belgrade theatre, Coventry; 31 Oct – 5 Nov Palace theatre, Manchester; 14-19 Nov King’s theatre, Glasgow; 22-26 November Grand theatre, Blackpool.
Seymour: Sam Lupton.
Audrey: Stephanie Clift
Mushnik: Paul Kissaun.
Crystal: Sasha Latoya.
Chiffon: Vanessa Fisher.
Ronnette: Cassie Clare.
Audrey Two (Voice): Neil Nicholas.
Audrey Two (puppeteer): Josh Wilmott.
Ensemble: Phil Adele; Stephanie McConville.
Director: Tara Louis Wilkinson.
Choreographer: Matthew Cole.
Designer: David Shields.
Lighting Designer: Charlie Morgan Jones.
Sound Designer: Gareth Owen.
Musical Director: Dustin Conrad
Orchestrations: Robby Merkin.