Little Shop of Horrors is a popular musical that has achieved cult status in both the UK and USA. Billed as a ‘comedy horror musical’ the show follows the fortunes of a failing flower shop whose luck changes when a rare blood eating plant begins to take over. Alan Menken provided the rock score which drew influence from Mowtown, doo-wap and rock and roll. The original production occurred off-Broadway and the show achieved bigger commercial success in London thanks to producer Cameron Mackintosh. The show has been revived various times, and is frequently performed by amateur companies.
the 1960 film
WPA Theatre, David Geffen, and Cameron Mackintosh
Little Shop of Horrors - Original Off Broadway
Orpheum Theatre - Opened 27 Jul 1982, closed 1 Sep 1987, 2209 performances
Cast: Lee Wilkof, Ellen Greene, Hy Anzell, Marlene Danielle, Jennifer Leigh Warren, Sheila Kay Davis, Ron Taylor.
Little Shop of Horrors - Original London Production
Comedy Theatre - Opened 1 Jan 1983, closed 5 Oct 1985, 803 performances
Cast: Barry James, Ellen Greene
Little Shop of Horrors - Broadway Revival
Virginia Theatre - Opened 2 Oct 2003, closed 22 Aug 2004, 372 performances
Cast: Hunter Foster, Kerry Butler, Rob Bartlett, Douglas Sills, Michael Leon Wooley
Little Shop of Horrors - London Revival
Menier Chocolate Factory, Duke of York’s, Ambassadors - Opened 6 Nov 2006, closed 8 Sep 2007
Cast: Paul Keating, Sheridan Smith, Alistair McGowan, Mike McShane
What was your favourite production? Add your thoughts in the comments box
A Voice from above warns the audience about a time when earth encountered a severe threat to its very existence. We are taken to the 1960s where a trio of street urchins, Crystal, Ronette and Chiffon sing about “The Little Shop of Horrors”. We are introduced to Seymour Krelborn, a down on his luck loser who works at a flower shop in the urban area of “Skid Row” where everyone is praying to get out of. He is in love with Audrey who works with him at Mushnik’s flower shop which is currently failing. The girls tell about a total eclipse of the sun which leaves Seymour with a strange plant “Da-Doo” which Seymour names Audrey II after his love. The plan begins to die and Seymour can’t work out why it isn’t thriving. He pricks his finger on a thorn and the plant suddenly springs to life, eating the blood. He realises that the plant requires blood to stay alive, “Grow For Me”. Audrey II grows and becomes an attraction to the shop but Seymour is forced to keep feeding it blood to keep it alive and he is a hero of the shop, “Ya Never Know”. Audrey’s evil boyfriend abuses her and she reveals that she wants to find a simpler man who can give her all she has ever wanted “Somewhere That’s Green”.
Mushnik’s shop is “Closed for Renovation” to accommodate the growing plant. Audrey’s abuse “Dentist” boyfriend Orin tells Seymour he should take the plant away to benefit himself and Mushnik realises he needs to adopt Seymour to keep him in Skid Row “Mushnik and Son”. Seymour struggles to find enough blood to keep the plant alive, and the plant is growing more demanding, yelling “Feed Me”. As Seymour sees Orin abuse Audrey he comes up with a new way to help the plant quench his thrist, feeding him to the plant who continues to grow.
Act Two opens as cutomers are being turned away from the shop “Call Back in the Morning” as it is too busy to keep up with the trade. Seymour and Audrey admit their feelings for each other, (“Suddenly Seymour”) and plan to run away and start a new life together, but Seymour thinks Audrey only likes him because of his new found fame. Musknik begins to suspect Seymour after he finds blood in the shop, and ends up being eaten by the plant. Seymour realises that the plant will continue killing and feels morally responsible. He thinks about destroying it but mistakenly thinks that it is the only thing that makes Audrey love him, (“The Meek Shall Inherit”).
Seymour is invited to go on a lecture tour of the USA and Audrey tells him she loves him for being himself and not for anything else. He decides he will destroy the plant. Audrey goes to the shop to find him but the plant talks to her, attracting her to water it, pulling her into its mouth. Seymour enters at the last moment and drags her out, but she dies in his arms. Botanists try and get cuttings of the plant and Seymour realises its plan for world domination. He throws himself into the plant to try and kill it from the inside.
The plant is projected around the country where others seeking fortune and fame feed them as more grow bigger and bigger. The Ronettes warn the audience “Don’t Feed the Plants”.
- Little Shop of Horrors
- Skid row
- Skid Row Playoff/Doorbell
- You Never Know Underscore
- Grow for me
- You Never Know
- You Never know Playoff
- Somewhere That’s Green
- Closed for Renovation
- Mushnik and son
- Sudden Changes
- Feed me Git It
- Dentist Chair Intro
- Now It’s Just The Gas
- Little Shop Of Horrors (reprise)
- Call Back In The Morning
- Suddenly Seymour
- Melodramatic Chords
- The meek shall inherit
- Da Doo Underscore
- Sominex/Supertime (reprise)
- Death of Audrey
- Somewhere That’s Green Reprise
- Da-Doo Reprise
- Finale-Don’t Feed The Plants
- Little Shop Playoff
- Seymour Playoff
- Some Fun Now
- Mean Green Mother From Outterspace
1982-1983: New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical, Outer Critics Circle Award.
1983: Evening Standard Award Best New Musical
UK: Josef Weinberger
USA: Musical Theatre International