From cult comedy film to family show
PUBLISHED: 17:10 11 February 2009 | UPDATED: 17:23 16 August 2010
The cavernous proscenium arch and generous acting area at the Churchill make it ideal for staging musicals, and a full house greeted the latest production of
The cavernous proscenium arch and generous acting area at the Churchill make it ideal for staging musicals, and a full house greeted the latest production of Little Shop of Horrors with avid anticipation.
With a nod and a wink to the Rocky Horror Show, Howard Ashman and Alan Menken have given a Jewish twist to the horror genre with this New York setting of Roger Corman's low-budget thriller flick.
A cunning set by David Farley shows us the inside and outside of Mr Mushnik's (Sylvester McCoy with a Yiddish touch) florist shop on skid row. Outside in the shabby street, three winos and a hooker introduce us to the run-down neighbourhood where the action takes place.
Three wisecracking local girls pump out a high-energy number where they sing to us of the harsh realities of life at the bottom of the ladder, and the alluring Audrey (beautifully performed by Clare Buckfield) Mr Mushnik's platinum blonde assistant weaves her way through the bums to makes her appearance in the shop, late, as usual, and with a nasty black-eye from her new love interest, the leather-clad biker Orin Scrivello. Alex Ferns makes the most of this gross character and we are not at all sorry to see him suffocate himself with an overdose of nitrous oxide. Seymour, a dysfunctional nerd (artfully captured by Damian Humbley) has been taken in by the kindly Mr Mushnik, and helps out round the shop. However, his interest in plants has taken a slightly kinky twist when a little old Chinese man sells him a strange green pot-plant with a domed head and a thirst for blood.
Mathew White has done a great job of recreating this iconic show for the Churchill (and beyond) and the highs and lows are engineered superbly to deliver a sparkling mix of horror, glamour, Rock-n-Roll and horticulture.
* Little Shop Of Horrors runs until this Saturday. Call ticket sales on 0870 060 6620.