Clive Rowe is voicing bloodthirsty plant Audrey II in the musical Little Shop Of Horrors for a two week period which began last night, until 14 April.
Rowe is temporarily standing in for regular cast member Mike McShane. A statement from the producers reads: “Owing to a bereavement in his family, Mike McShane will not be appearing in Little Shop Of Horrors at the Duke of York’s theatre for the next two weeks. The producers are delighted to announce that at very short notice Olivier Award Winner Clive Rowe, most recently seen in Caroline, Or Change (National Theatre) will be performing the role of the Audrey II, the plant.”
In addition to last year’s Caroline, Or Change, which picked up a Best New Musical Laurence Olivier Award at this year’s ceremony, musical theatre star Rowe appeared in Richard’s Eyre’s 1996 revival of Guys And Dolls, Carousel, Peter Pan, Candide and the Villains’ Opera, all at the National, plus As You Like It at the Wyndham’s and Simply Heavenly at the Young Vic and Trafalgar Studios. He is lined up to star in the forthcoming production of Sondheim musical Into The Woods at the Royal Opera House Linbury Studio in June.
Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s Little Shop Of Horrors tells the darkly comic tale of geeky florist assistant Seymour who discovers an exotic plant and brings it back to Mr Mushnik’s struggling skid row florist. As the plant – named Audrey II after the girl Seymour loves – grows, it brings fame and money to Mushnik’s shop, but there is one problem – it craves human blood.
The musical opened at the Duke of York’s on 12 March after a pre-Christmas run at the Menier Chocolate Factory. em>CB