Little Shop of Horrors
This show has now closed, click here for a listing of current and future London shows
Previewed 17 November 2007, opened 29 November 2006, closed 25 February 2007 at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London
A major revival of the classic cult musical Little Shop of Horrors in London at The Ambassadors Theatre. Written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman this production is directed by Matthew White with designs by David Farley - and promises to be one of the hit West End shows of the year following it's sell-out season at The Menier Chocolate Factory Theatre at Christmas 2006 and a run at The Duke of York's Theatre in London's West End in Spring 2007.
Down and out skid row floral assistant Seymour becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh blood. Soon 'Audrey II' grows into an ill-tempered, foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore offering him fame and fortune in exchange for feeding its growing appetite... but as Audrey II's hungry demands increase, all that Seymour holds dear is threatened as the plant's sinister agenda for global domination is revealed...
Little Shop of Horrors, one of the longest-running off-Broadway shows of all time, is an affectionate spoof of 1950s sci-fi movies. The original West End stage musical production was staged at The Comedy Theatre in 1983 where it had a succssful run of two years. It is probably best known for the 1986 movie version of the stage show which featured Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene and Steve Martin. In December the show was revived for Christmas 2006 at The Menier Chocolate Factory Theatre in South East London where it opened to critical acclaim and was soon a sell-out smash hit - now this 'must see' production transfers to the Duke of York's Theatre in London's West End.
This revival of Little Shop of Horrors features a hugely innovative reworking of the legendary plant by industry pioneers ARTEM along with a cast that features Paul Keating as 'Seymour', Sheridan Smith as 'Audrey' and Barry James (who played 'Seymour' in the original London West End stage production) as 'Mushnik' who are all reprising their roles from The Menier Theatre production. Joining the cast for the West End season will be Alistair McGowan as 'The Dentist and other roles'. The voice of the plant is performed by Mike McShane and the plant is operated by puppeteer Andy Heath. The cast also includes Matthew Eames, Katie Kerr, Jenny Fitzpatrick Corrie Mack and Melitsa Nicola (Cast subject to change).
Little Shop of Horrors is currently playing at The Menier Chocolate Factory Theatre in South-East London where it's sell-out run finishes on 25 February 2007.
"Little Shop of Horrors returns in lip-smacking triumph in Matthew White's exuberantly vulgar production" The Times
"Little Shop of Horrors has beastliness, crackling comedy and rock. Triumphantly revived under Matthew White's direction... Alan Menken's score and Howard Ashman's lyrics give cartoon vividness to this 1982 sci-fi spoof in which a weedy florist's assistant finds fame and murderous tendencies by nourishing a man-eating plant." The Observer
"A ludicrously entertaining musical... and in the Menier's smashing revival the euphoria and wit of this musical adaptation of Roger Corman's 1962 exploitation movie are unmistakable"
"A tongue-in-cheek, retro-style musical about a man-eating plant called Audrey II... The Menier's cast and creative team tackle it with tremendous enthusiasm, maximising the comedy with great singing and some very fast timing. Paul Keating fits the part of Seymour perfectly.... Barry James, as the gruff old Mr Mushnik, has a lot of fun, and Sheridan Smith as Audrey, teetering around in high heels and microskirt, is a hoot." The Sunday Times
"Witty, slick and always eager to entertain, the cultish charms of Little Shop of Horrors are on full display at the Menier Chocolate Factory" The London Evening Standard
"The singing is invigorating; the plant is fittingly fleshly, brilliantly manipulated by Andy Heath and wittily voiced by Mike McShane; and the performances in the lead roles (Paul Keating as the geeky florist and Sheridan Smith as the love interest) charmingly moving... And yet, at a little over two hours, the whole thing drags rather." The Sunday Telegraph
"The parody is played to the hilt in Matthew White's exuberant production... bristles with witty details" The Financial Times
Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's stage musical version of Little Shop of Horrors is based on the 1960 horror 'B-movie' of the same name which was directed by Roger Corman (and which included Jack Nicholson in a small role). Alan Menken said: "Ok, so it wasn't a great film, but horror movies are the last respectable form of melodrama and this one is a parable: most 1950s horrors were in fact cautionary tales about ecology or McCarthy or the Bomb, and this one is simply the Faust legend updated. Because of a vague title similiarity people sometimes compare it with The Rocky Horror Show but in fact it's nothing like it. Rocky Horror was essentially 1970s: totally black, totally amoral, and although I saw the movie eight times I finally stopped going when all the kids shouted back at the screen. This Little Shop of Horrors goes back to an earlier tradition, and it's a much more convential musical with a strong plot and all the old Rogers and Hammerstein devices for solo spot numbers during scene changes. In that sense it's a show about the American musical as well as about horror films."