Little Shop of Horrors
Book and lyrics by Howard Ashman
Music by Alan Menken
Royal Exchange Theatre, 9 December 2014
A really rather wonderful production of Ashman and Menken’s musical about a mysterious, flesh-eating plant that threatens to take over America.
The puppet of the plant was a prodigious wonder in itself – several puppets being used, in fact, as it grew by leaps and bounds – and it had a personality all its own, one that was not entirely endearing. Myriad marvellous performances adorned the show, not least from Ako Mitchell as Orin, a sadistic dentist. My only slight concern at the start was whether the space the cast had to work with was big enough. In the end, they just about got away with it, and this was due in no small measure to the lively, sassy performances coming from the girl group (Ibinabo Jack, Joelle Moses and Ellena Vincent). They made the space seem much bigger than it actually was.
A heartening Christmas Cracker effect closed a sterling production of a highly entertaining musical that you could also read as a critique of capitalism and/or a yarn about the return of the repressed, if you had a mind to. Little Shop of Horrors runs all the way through to 31 January, further details can be found here.