In the world of musicals there are some that you can see over and over and still enjoy. Those that are the must-sees, ones that have almost cult status and The Little Shop of Horrors is certainly in that category.
The current version is running at Colchester’s Mercury Theatre and is a joint-production with The Salisbury Playhouse.
The story of course is well known, Seymour (Ben Stott) is the flower shop assistant working on Skid Row. Unfortunately flowers are not at the top of the shopping list for most people in the area, who struggle to make ends meet. All that changes when Seymour starts to nurture a strange floral specimen.
Not knowing the plants name he calls it the Audrey II, after his fellow flower shop worker Audrey (Frances McNamee) for whom Seymour has a soft-spot.
The Audrey II develops a taste for blood, human blood on which it thrives and in return helps to transform the fortunes and lives of Seymour, Audrey and all who come in contact with it.
Although the musical was written in the 80s it is based in the early 60s with more than a nodding homage to the classic B-movie horror films of the era and the music is of the Phil Spector genre, lots of great harmonies which are provided by a trio of girls named in tribute to the Ronnettes (Chiffon, Crystal and Ronnette).
The cast are great, and special mention must be made of the superb set which really makes you feel you are in area of town that has seen better days.
It’s all very tongue in cheek, but great fun. If you’ve seen the movie or the stage show before you already will know that you are in for a fun time. If you haven’t then make sure you don’t miss it this time around.
A word of warning though, take care next time you are working in your greenhouse.
Runs at Colchester Mercury Theatre until 13th June, box office 01206 573948.
Mark Keable, Ipswich24