Flowers for Mrs Harris post-show Q&A at Riverside Studios. © Darren Ross

Flowers for Mrs Harris post-show Q&A at Riverside Studios. © Darren Ross

What do you covet so much that you would work yourself, save and sacrifice for years, just for the chance of making the prized possession yours?

In Flowers for Mrs Harris, based on the 1958 novel by Paul Gallico, for widow Ada Harris, who toils away each day as a cleaning woman in rationed post-war London, it’s a Christian Dior dress. A thing of beauty, a work of art, something to come home to.

What’s the equivalent for Jenna Russell, the Olivier Award-winning actress who plays her in the show’s long-awaited London premiere? The question was posed to Jenna and her fellow cast members – Hal Fowler, Charlotte Kennedy, Nate Campbell and Pippa Winslow – who joined me for yesterday’s post-matinee Q&A. And the answers were as personal, heartwarming and amusing as the musical itself.

Other topics covered included onstage French improv for non-French speakers, fashion shows, Dior classics, London vs Paris, middle-aged leading ladies, grief, friendship, seven degrees of Clare Burt, and random acts of kindness.

Flowers for Mrs Harris, first seen at Sheffield Crucible in 2016, has a book by Rachel Wagstaff, music and lyrics by Richard Taylor. This new London production is directed by Bronagh Lagan and presented by Aria Entertainment and Tiny Giants Productions.

Flowers for Mrs Harris continues at London’s Riverside Studios until 25 November 2023.

Q&A video

Q&A photos

Event photography by Darren Ross.

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