Review: Flowers for Mr Harris, Crucible Theatre
Flowers for Mrs Harris, Crucible
What’s the luxury that you would scrimp and scrape for years to buy?
For cleaning lady Ada Harris, working in drab 1950s London, a beautiful Christian Dior dress seen in a rich client’s wardrobe fills her heart with such joy that she’s determined to scrape together the money to buy one on a trip to Paris.
What follows is a frothy confection, beautifully made and full of colour.
Clare Burt, fully deserving a standing ovation on press night, is a joy as Mrs Harris, a woman whose sharp eye for smoothing along human relationships makes a difference to everyone around her.
She can cheer up neurotic best friend Violet (a great role for Anna-Jane Casey), cope with annoying clients and do a spot of match-making for Dior model Natasha and uptight fashion house accountant Andre. The chemistry between lovers Louis Maskell and Laura Pitt-Pulford is a delight.
Backstage must be chaos as much of the cast play multiple roles in London and Paris scenes. Some actors, such as Mark Meadows, are so clever that it took a glance at the cast list to work out who’s who.
Daniel Evans’ direction has everything cracking along, the singing is lovely and Lez Brotherston’s minimalist design works well.
However, I was left a bit flat by the first half but thought the show came together after the interval. The finale was heartwarming and uplifting.
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