Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park, London – until 22 September 2018
Productions at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre are basically a summer rite of passage. The beautiful outdoor space is the perfect place to watch brilliant theatre as the sun sets over you and (as long as it’s not raining) provides a perfect summer evening. Currently on offer at the venue is a re-worked version of the 1982 plant-horror musical, Little Shop of Horrors.
This story of a monster plant is crazy anyway so has the tendency to turn tacky very easily, but director Maria Aberg embraces the weirdness with open arms and pulls off a gloriously cheesy but worth-the-ticket-price production.
As the charming, plant-loving, Audrey admiring, Seymour, Marc Antolin is fantastic. He brings a real warmth to the character as well as providing sweet, smooth vocals and working well alongside Jemima Rooper as Audrey.
The Greek Chorus made up of Christina Modestou, Renée Lamb and Seyi Omooba bring a sense of realism to the show (well, as real as you can get with a man-eating, talking plant) and provide killer vocals. The trio is absolutely outstanding, commanding the stage and making all their moments on stage shine, especially the note-perfect rendition of ‘The Meek Shall Inherit’.
In an inspired piece of cast, the plant, Audrey II is played by drag queen Vicky Vox who gives a sassy, fiery performance and brings a fresh layer to the show which makes it feel new all of a sudden. Mention must also go to Matt Willis as Orin (among other characters) who gives a humorously versatile and sadistic performance.
Tom Scutt’s bleak Skid Row set is in perfect contrast to the lush surroundings of Regent’s Park and also helps heighten the pops of green and pink on stage. The costumes are camp and wonderful, especially at the end when the entire cast and ensemble are serving looks.
This production is big, bold and wonderful. Humour, prime vocals and a crazy story make this the most enjoyable way to spend an evening. Tickets are limited but if you can find a way to get to Skid Row, you won’t be disappointed!