HOLLY WIL­LIAMS SHOW Of tHe Week

The Mail on Sunday - Event - - THEATRE -

Re­gent’s Park Open Air Theatre, London Un­til Sep 22, 2hrs 5mins

This 1982 cult mu­si­cal has al­ways been a potty favourite: hap­less florist Sey­mour cul­ti­vates an alien plant with an ap­petite for hu­man flesh – a Faus­tian pact that wins him fame, for­tune and Au­drey, the girl of his dreams.

But Maria Aberg’s re­vival gives fans some­thing new to chew on: in­stead of the usual an­i­ma­tronic flower, out of de­signer Tom Scutt’s psy­che­delic, ten­ta­cled plant steps Vicky Vox, a fab­u­lous US drag queen. She’s got big lungs, big booty, big heels and a very big stage pres­ence, ab­so­lutely nail­ing it as this se­duc­tively de­mand­ing, man-eat­ing diva.

Vox is not the only fierce one; three Six­ties-style girl-group back­ing singers are given a sassy, street­wise makeover, while Matt Wil­lis – for­merly of pop band Busted – plays a sadis­tic den­tist, wield­ing a rusty drill with mad­cap glee.

But the whole cast is bril­liant, hav­ing bags of fun with this kitsch send-up of mu­si­cals and B-movies.

A black-and-white New York sky­line slowly turns ‘emer­ald city’ as green spreads over Scutt’s set, while his floristry is in­ven­tive: acid­bright kitchen uten­sils a n d toi­let brushes form im­prob­a­ble blooms. And he re­ally lets rip in the cos­tume depart­ment with a fi­nal prop­a­gat­ing pageant of span­gled, silly, sex­u­ally sug­ges­tive alien plants.

Mon­strously good fun.

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