Little Shop of Horrors
15th December 2017
Playhouse Theatre, Norwich
Type of Production
Author: Sue DuPont
The impact of that hand-made revolve on the Playhouse stage showed that this would not be a ‘normal’ but a more innovative staging of the cult musical, a slant towards the pre-history of Audrey 2 and the space age. An amazing set idea which just cut down all those scene shift timings into a continuum, and how well it worked with cast moving through the action (and door) without a breath, and all complimented by that lighting plot working. Also must congratulate the technicians at the Playhouse for the mikes and cues being on time and so good for sound, and well balanced so we heard everything against that very excellent semi-jazz band under Artemis Reed. And in the ‘effects’ list, what about that amazing plant from Accord Stageworks, direct from latest professional tour of show.
Dan Smith assembled yet another almost hand-picked talented cast, and assisted by producer Lynn Ireson, brought out all the nuances in this production in style.
Absolutely outstanding and well-matched casting in the two leads: with Jason Ames as Seymour and Charly Nash as Audrey giving a perfect balance and strong in vocals, and how perfect ‘Suddenly Seymour’ and ‘Somewhere that is green’ were in every way and with that accompaniment, and not even considering the empathy and delicacy of feelings and hope interpreted between these two players, this was the partnership that created magic.
Add in the somewhat crusty figure with some comedy moments of Mr Mushnik from Jon Bennett with the singing voice to wish for, and this trio is complete for the main story and the final result. With Dan Smith doubling director with sadistic dentist Orin in a great cameo performance of horror, all ingredients arrive for this tale of love and loss.
Those three girls, Chiffon (April Nash), Crystal (Becca Jillings) and Ronette (Ellen Smith), were the peak of harmonies with their link melodies and important contribution to the story, many costume changes and lots of appearances, definitely roles to applaud and relish their performances.
And with brief appearances as different ensemble roles, Anthony Loftus just managed to squeeze in this production during university break, and showed the style seen in previous productions.
That plant was amazing: Sean Bray manipulated in style and hard work, and with the voice of Joe Betts in prime fettle, nothing could fail the stardom.
However coming out of the theatre, still singing all the familiar songs, and enjoying all that energy and slickness from the stage, this is a show that just engenders the ‘feel good factor’ and wanting more.