Little Shop of Horrors

Date 3rd November 2017
Society Worthing Musical Comedy Society
Venue The Connaught Theatre
Type of Production Musical
Director Lee Payne
Choreographer Kaye Gordon & Megan Gee
Vocal Director Jan Spooner Swabey

Report

Author: Jose Harrison

Howard Ashman and Alan Menken collaborated to produce this delightful (is that the right word?) comic musical. More highbrow critics might not appreciate the humour but just as many patrons of this theatre found it very much to their taste. The story is based on a very demanding plant nurtured in a flower shop in ‘Skid Row’. The shop is suffering from lack of trade but when this extraordinary plant grows vastly and becomes well known the shop suddenly becomes talked about and is very popular. Mr Mushnik, the owner, was played by Tom Brennan, a newcomer to the society, so I’m told. He gave an excellent performance, very convincingly Jewish, with a great accent, super singing voice and the ability to dance and act. In the shop we had Alex Brown as Seymour the person responsible for rearing this strange plant and giving it the name of Audrey 11, named after the other shop assistant with whom he is in love. 

Seymour is a young man, very nervous and indecisive. This came over well providing a sharp contrast to the other main characters. His stance, speech and costumes all added to his personality and his singing was a delight. This was very important in this particular role as he sang in more than half of the musical numbers. The only other male principal was Jack Winrow as Orin, the dentist, Audrey’s boy friend who knocks her about, being a loud mouthed and brutish ‘Yob. His performance was magnificent and will stick in my memory for a very long time!! Last but far from least, we have Audrey, Orin’s Dolly Bird girlfriend superbly played by Kiarnie Camp.  She was every inch the ‘dumb blonde’ totally ensnared by Orin despite his treatment of her. She sang superbly. I was totally enraptured by her version of ‘Somewhere that’s Green’.  Add to this great team of four the almost human plant, Audrey 11, vocally played by Wayne Roberts with Gareth Edwards as the puppeteer, both outstanding in their different roles. Their timing was spectacularly good taking into account one was on stage making the plants mouth and limbs move and the other was back stage speaking the lines.

The ensemble have very little to do in this particular show but certainly looked the part and sang well. Instead of the usual chorus most musicals require, this one had three backing singers, Vicki Martin (Crystal), Hannah-Eleni Goble (Ronette) and Rachel Smith (Chiffon) who moved and sang superbly with lovely strong harmonies. The set, lighting and sound were excellent, the orchestra supported the cast well and the costumes were ideal. Anyone who decided this production wasn’t for them missed some great entertainment.