Flowers for Mrs Harris – Theatre review
Ada Harris spends her days helping others, cleaning houses, dispensing sage advice and living simply, being content with her lot in life. But when she discovers a dress that takes her breathe away, she becomes obsessed with earning the money she needs to fly to Paris and purchase one of her own. Based on Paul Gallico’s 1958 novel Mrs ’Arris Goes to Paris, ‘Flowers’ is a thoroughly heart-warming tale of one woman’s journey of moving on from her past and discovering her power to transform the lives of everyone she meets along the way.
Central to the show is Clare Blunt’s affecting portrayal of Ada Harris, a lady sweetly unaware of her impact on those around her. Impeccably performed with unforced emotion and determination, Blunt is the centrepiece around which everything else, quite literally, spins. Director Daniel Evans’s utilises the simple staging to great effect – in particular the rotating outer ring creates a dreamlike atmosphere, with characters entering and exiting, pausing and walking in slow motion, creating the illusion of a dreamy past, fondly remembered.
Celebrating the power of friendship’s ability to transform lives, Flowers for Mrs Harris is a wonderfully optimistic breathe of fresh air. The music, clever scripting and simple set all provide an understated backdrop to witness the gradual unfurling of a humble woman’s life into something as vibrant and lovely as the dress she pursues.