Menier Chocolate Factory, London • 26 November 2006 • 3:30pm [preview]
Book and lyrics: Howard Ashman. Music: Alan Menken.
Director: Matthew White. Musical Director: Alan Berry. With Sheridan Smith (Audrey), Paul Keating (Seymour), Barry James (Mushnik), Jasper Britton (Orin Scrivello et al.),…
It seems to me that the theatre at the Menier Chocolate Factory cannot do anything wrong. After the remarkable production of Sunday in the Park With George and a very nice staging of The Last Five Years, the Menier goes into a completely different territory with Little Shop of Horrors. Does it get it right? You bet! This is first-class theatre. Once again, the limited space seems to work wonders. David Farley, who already designed Sunday in the Park With George, has provided a wonderfully gritty Skid Row, in many ways more successful than that of the recent Broadway offering.
Director Matthew White, already responsible for The Last Five Years, has assembled a great cast, led by a superb Sheridan Smith as Audrey (nobody can replace Ellen Greene, but Smith comes pretty close) and West End veteran Barry James as Mushnik. Interestingly, James played the part of Seymour in the original London production of Little Shop and hence comes full circle, so to speak. White’s staging is full of imagination and adds quite a lot to the fun of the libretto.
I loved every second of it.