Last summer, I published a post about Alan Bennett’s The History Boys and how much it means to me. It is without a doubt my favourite play and when I saw that the Altrincham Garrick Playhouse was hosting a production of it, I knew that I couldn’t miss it. I saw it at the Theatr Clwyd when I was a teenager and have since had to content myself with rewatches of the film, so the chance to see the material come to life with new vigour was an absolute joy.
Some of you may remember that a while ago, I published a review of the Royal Exchange’s Little Shop of Horrors (if you’d like a refresher, you can find that post here). It was an absolutely spectacular rendering of the material and I enthused endlessly about it to everyone I knew for weeks afterwards – in fact, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t occasionally still bring it up to this day. It was a truly outstanding experience and really fuelled my passion for a musical which I hadn’t known an awful lot about previously. So when I saw that another production of Howard Ashton and Alan Menken’s cult classic was coming to
Manchester, this time to
the Palace Theatre, I was torn. Part of me was keen to revisit this wonderfully fun show, which features some great numbers, but I worried that it would never live up to that excellent Royal Exchange production.