Mushnik’s Flower Shop, Skid Row, all attached props and flowers..

The original  ‘set’  for Little Shop of Horrors was designed by Edward T. Gianfrancesco for the Orpheum Theatre, New York.  And is shown on page 10 of the libretto.

In our opinion as far as  amateur theatre is concerned, ….generally playing in smaller theatres, schools, local halls etc. …. for runs usually not more than one week !.   This design has two major flaws.   One,  is the sheer depth of the set, which is twice the width of the stage.   And the other,  is it’s complexity ?!!.  …. There is nothing wrong with complex designs if you have the facilities to use them, ….and the ‘in theatre’ time to rehearse,  they can be very spectacular.   But in venues where there is limited flying facilities, ….possibly narrow side-stage, ….maybe restricted proscenium height, ….limited lighting rigs etc..   You often find that ‘complexity’ has a nasty habit of going wrong,  usually during the performance.

With this in mind we have designed our own set, built for easy transportation, simplicity to construct, flexibility for different stage sizes, collapses small enough for poor access, made to fit on normal rectangular stages where the depth is less than the width and for it’s ease of use during performance.

This set design is our own and is based on our experience of staging this show. We find it works well especially in venues where there is a small or shallow stage area, which based upon the venues we have hired to, is the majority.

Our set is built using 1.2m (4ft) wide sections 3m (10ft) high that bolt together to make ‘Mushnik’s Flower Shop’ and ‘Skid Row’. It has it’s own struts attached and is completely self supporting.

set

In the centre of the back wall in the shop we have two enclosed shelf units that contain flowers. When the shop is ‘poor’ (before the renovation) the doors on the units will be closed showing normal decoration to the audience. When the renovation takes place (during ‘Somewhere that’s Green’)  a cloth should  fly in or close along the no. 1 line in front of the ‘shop’, allowing the crew to open the doors on the units which will then show shelves full of bright flowers. The backs of the doors have wreaths and garlands etc. attached to them so when fastened back you will have a 4.8m (16ft) bright flower display that takes literally seconds to transform.

The plan is based upon an imaginary stage of 11m (36ft) wide and 6m (21ft) deep which is regarded as a medium to large stage. The set can be made smaller by removing the brick flat to the left of pier ‘A’ and by moving the set across or by removing brick flats from the other side of the stage.

We do not supply the side flats. Each theatre is different and will have flats suited to their purpose, you will also need a black (or other colour if you wish) ‘cloth’ to go in front of the back wall. Our set stands on the stage within these confines.

To assemble our ‘set’ you will need FOUR crew-members, a medium sized step-ladder and a 19mm spanner.  … Construction time approx. 1 hour,  ‘strike’ time approx. 30mins.  (full written instructions are provided).

Other than the shape, the differences are,  that we have omitted the refrigerator. It is only referred to once in verse one of ‘Closed for Renovation’, the counter doubles as the work table allowing extra room on stage, Seymour’s work-room is now off stage (counter side) and there is no actual shop window. The window is imaginary and is between pier ‘A’ and pier ‘B’. The audience look through ‘the window’ into the shop, ‘Pod 1’ (the smallest plant) is manipulated through a hole in the counter (not on the window sill). The puppeteer sits beneath the counter during ‘Grow for Me’.

All ‘props’ that are attached to the set are supplied with the ‘set’ package.

The props provided with the ‘set’ package are:

  • Clock
  • Counter
  • (4 off) renovation sheets ( for masking the flowers)
  • A renovation sheet (for covering the counter)
  • A renovation sheet (for covering ‘Pod 3’)
  • ‘Skid Row’ street sign
  • Open/closed sign
  • ‘Closed for Renovation’ sign
  • Shelves with ‘Withered flowers’
  • Coat Hangers

PHOTOGRAPHS  of our ‘set’ , ‘plants’ and ‘props’ packages  can be seen in our ‘Brochure’  ..  which can be downloaded.