Welcome to a tuneful Skid Row

Little Shop of Horrors, New Wolsey Theatre, until October 4SEPTEMBER is a month of many changes.The slipping away of summer's long, warm days and the noticeable arrival of an autumn chill.

Little Shop of Horrors, New Wolsey Theatre, until October 4

SEPTEMBER is a month of many changes.

The slipping away of summer's long, warm days and the noticeable arrival of an autumn chill.

September is also the month when the New Wolsey theatre throws open the doors on a new season of its own.


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And like the certainty of a change in the air, the new theatrical season can be relied on to burst into the limelight with one of the Wolsey's trademark musicals.

This year, it is the turn of a show that started life as a low-budget B-movie in 1959, Little Shop of Horrors.

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The original film saw Jack Nicholson make his big screen debut and it wasn't until 23 years later it became stage show. Countless productions and a big-budget film remake in 1986 have made the story of the plant with a taste for human flesh a classic.

Set in a failing Skid Row florists, the arrival of a strange new plant makes a star of shy and bumbling young Seymour. But little does everyone else know its eating habits and one by one, Seymour must find people to be the plant's next meal.

This New Wolsey production features all the characters we know and love - Seymour, Audrey, Mr Mushnik, Audrey's sadistic dentist boyfriend, and a trio of Skid Row girls to bring some downtown glamour.

Set mainly in Mushnik's store, this production makes good use of the Wolsey stage and the simple shop setting allows the hungry plant the chance to grow and slowly dominate everything, both physically and in Seymour's life.

New Wolsey pantomime regular Shirley Darroch makes an early appearance this year as Audrey and plays the role with just the right comic timing and heart. She pairs well with James Haggie as Seymour, who again plays the character just the way we all want him to.

With strong performances from Harry Myers as Mushnik and Nick Haverson the dentist, the cast is strong. The Skid Row girls are a treat and sing and dance their way through some great numbers. No production would be complete with the plant voice and movement and as the voice, Jo Servi found the right balance of comedy and evil, while Dominic Eddington displayed impressive puppetry skills.

With the New Wolsey season now underway, I can safely say autumn has arrived.

Welcome back September, I've missed you.

HELEN JOHNS

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