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Casting announced for Little Shop of Horrors at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Little Shop of Horrors

Casting news

CASTING has been announced for Little Shop of Horrors. Directed by Maria Aberg, it runs at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre from August 3 to September 15, 2018.

Marc Antolin and Jemima Rooper play Seymour and Audrey, with Forbes Masson in the role of East Side florist Mr Mushnik. Matt Willis takes the role of sadistic dentist Orin, and the plant, Audrey II, is played by U.S. drag queen Vicky Vox.

For the misfits of Skid Row, life is full of broken dreams and dead ends. But there’s hope on the horizon for flower shop assistant, Seymour, when he discovers a mysterious new plant with killer potential. Will his newfound fame and fortune win the attention of kind, sweet, delicate Audrey? Can he finally break free and be happy…whatever the consequences?

Director Maria Aberg said: “The figure of Audrey II represents chaos at the heart of the downtrodden, deeply conventional world of Skid Row. She is everything Seymour’s existence is not – anarchic, queer, wickedly funny. Borne out of his greed, combined with his secret desires, the plant explodes like an out-of-control after party onto the stage, seducing and terrifying in equal measure, all with a knowing glint in the eye and a filthy sense of humour.

“Fuelled by Seymour’s own wish for success she grows increasingly demanding, increasingly glamorous, and increasingly unreasonable, until she’s conquered the whole of New York and the show erupts in a huge, defiant celebration of the subversive and the downright fabulous.”

Marc Antolin is currently appearing as Marc Chagall in The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk (Kneehigh/UK/USA Tour) and returns to the Open Air Theatre following appearances in Hello, Dolly! and Into The Woods. Recent credits also include Twelfth Night, Romantics Anonymous (The Globe/Sam Wanamaker Playhouse); Peter Pan (National Theatre); The Trial (Young Vic); Taken at Midnight (Haymarket/Chichester Festival Theatre); Amadeus, Singin’ in the Rain (Chichester Festival Theatre); Matilda (RSC/Cambridge Theatre) and the film London Road.

Jemima Rooper recently appeared as Karen Marston in Death in Paradise (BBC); Trauma (ITV); Atlantis (BBC) and Hex (Sky One). Her theatre credits include Me and My Girl (Sheffield Crucible – Best Performance in a Musical nomination, UK Theatre Awards); One Man, Two Guvnors (National Theatre/UK Tour/West End/Broadway – Best Supporting Actress nomination, WhatsOnStage Awards); Blithe Spirit (Gielgud Theatre/US Tour); All My Sons (Gielgud Theatre – Best Supporting Actress nomination, WhatsOnStage Awards) and The Norman Conquests (Chichester Festival Theatre). She also appeared in the films Kinky Boots and The Black Dahlia.

Vicky Vox is a U.S. drag queen, working extensively on the West Coast. Originally from New Jersey, she performed in the band DWV with songs becoming viral hits on YouTube and, in 2013, performed at the ‘Life Ball’ in Vienna. On film, Vox appeared in the movie Magic Mike XXL. Little Shop of Horrors marks her theatre debut.

Matt Willis first found fame as bassist, vocalist and writer for the pop-punk band Busted. After several chart successes, including four number one singles, they dispersed in 2005 and Willis embarked on a solo career, releasing the singles Up All Night, Hey Kid, Don’t Let It Go To Waste, and a cover version of Crash for the film Mr Bean’s Holiday. In 2013, members of Busted joined with McFly to form the supergroup McBusted. Busted re-formed in 2016.

Willis’ theatre credits include Footloose (Shaftesbury Theatre); Flashdance The Musical (UK Tour) and as Fiyero in Wicked (Apollo Victoria Theatre). In December 2017, he also appeared in The Christmasaurus (Eventim Apollo). Since winning I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! he has enjoyed a successful career as a TV presenter, and also appeared in EastEnders, and as Garth Stubbs in the revival of Birds of a Feather.

Forbes Masson was most recently seen in Summer and Smoke (Almeida). Having appeared extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company, other recent theatre credits include Big Fish (The Other Palace); Boudica (Shakespeare’s Globe); Terror (Lyric Hammersmith); Travesties (Apollo Theatre/Menier Chocolate Factory); Doctor Faustus (Duke of York’s Theatre) and Mr Foote’s Other Leg (Hampstead Theatre/Theatre Royal Haymarket). Television work includes Catastrophe, Doctors, Shetland: Dead Water; EastEnders; Young Person’s Guide To Becoming A Rock Star and The High Life.

The cast also includes Renée Lamb, Seyi Omooba and Christina Modestou as Chiffon, Crystal and Ronnette.

Renée Lamb recently appeared as Catherine of Aragon in SIX (Arts Theatre). Seyi Omooba appeared in Boxed (Vaults Theatre); Little Beasts (The Other Palace); Ragtime (Charing Cross Theatre) and The Color Purple (Cadogan Hall). Christina Modestou recently appeared as Anne Boleyn in SIX (Arts Theatre) and in the 20th anniversary production of Rent (UK Tour). Her other recent credits include The Last Mermaid (Wales Millennium Centre); Shrek (UK Tour); Urinetown (Apollo Theatre); In The Heights (Southwark Playhouse) and We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre).

Completing the cast are: Joe Allen, Josh Baker, Billy Cullum, Julian Hoult, Rosalind James, Bobbie Little, Helen Siveter and Mary Lynn Tiep.

Making her Open Air Theatre debut, Little Shop of Horrors is directed by Maria Aberg, whose production of The Duchess of Malfi recently opened at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Other recent work includes Dr Faustus, The White Devil, As You Like It, King John, The Gods Weep, Days of Significance (all Royal Shakespeare Company); Hotel (National Theatre); Much Ado About Nothing (Royal Exchange Manchester); The Chairs (Theatre Royal Bath); Alaska (Royal Court) and Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox (Nuffield/Lyric Hammersmith).

Design is by Tom Scutt whose credits include Jesus Christ Superstar (Open Air Theatre); King Charles III (Almeida/West End/Broadway); The Deep Blue Sea, Medea (National Theatre); Les Liaisons Dangereuses, The Weir (Donmar Warehouse) and Constellations (West End/MTC New York/Royal Court).

Choreography is by Lizzi Gee, whose recent credits include Iolanthe (ENO), A Christmas Carol (Old Vic) and The Girls (Phoenix Theatre). Musical supervision is by Tom Deering (Jesus Christ Superstar, On The Town) and lighting design by Howard Hudson (On The Town). Season Sound Designer at the Open Air Theatre since 2012, sound design is by Nick Lidster for Autograph and casting is by Stuart Burt.

For more news on the Open Air Theatre production of Little Shop of Horrors, visit skidrow.blog/.

Read more about the Open Air Theatre’s 2018 Season, which includes Peter Pan and The Turn of the Screw.