Little Shop of Horrors

Date 25th November 2021
Society Birtley Community Theatre
Venue Park View Theatre Chester le Street
Type of Production Musical
Director Kim Hetherington
Musical Director Carl Herron
Choreographer Katie Roberts

Report

Author: Michelle Coulson

This was my first show visit as a representative post lockdowns and it was lovely to be in a near full auditorium seeing performers and audience both enjoying the experience to the full. Like many productions rehearsals for this one started two years ago so it is fantastic that they actually got to get it on.

Little Shop of Horrors is the classic telling of the “B” movie horror tale of a man eating plant with bigger plans of world domination. Birtley Community Theatre filled the air with energy and enthusiasm from the first note of the score and maintained a high energy performance throughout.

The interpretation was different to how have seen it portrayed previously with caricature type interpretations of the characters, the emphasis being on the laughs rather than pathos. This humour was certainly appreciated by the audience who were engaged throughout.

Mushnik was portrayed by Hayley Hetherington, her antics had the audience laughing out loud as she made every one of her entrances and exits valid and her character’s presence felt. Seymour was played with the necessary naivety and vulnerability by Thomas Lyon, his relationships with both Audrey and Audrey 2 were well portrayed. As Audrey, Katie Roberts was able to create a good rapport with Seymour and gave a secure interpretation of her vulnerable character, her “Somewhere that’s Green” was beautifully sung.

One of the most memorable characters in Little Shop of Horrors is Orin who was played by Sam Honour and he certainly made a formidable dentist. The scene in the dental surgery was well portrayed and very funny with the addition of a hilarious psychopathic dental nurse who relished Orin’s obsession with pain as much as him.

The voice of the plant was portrayed by Connor Richardson who had had to cover the role at short notice as is often the case in productions at the moment and he did a sterling job as well as also portraying the 3 cameo roles of  Bernstein, Snip and Mrs Luce, well done! The plant “manipulation” is a tough job for anyone, never seen but essential to the plot, and Adam Burns did a good job of keeping Audrey 2 on the move.

The roles of Ronnette, Chiffon and Crystal who act as a type of Greek Chorus narrating the story were played by Jessica Martin, Alex Kirton and Sam King-Booth and their singing was excellent. Some their numbers and libretto were also shared with other members of the company and all of them gave strong vocal performances and their choreography was slick.

The production flowed well with good scene transitions,lighting and sound; costumes were appropriate to the time and the finale was particularly spectacular to look at as well as completely absorbing the audience in the plant’s bid for domination!

Well done to Kim and her team for an enjoyable, high energy production and welcome back!