Little Shop of Horrors

Date 2nd March 2023
Society Alloa Musical Players
Venue Alloa Town Hall
Type of Production Musical
Director Kaye Finlay
Musical Director Lesley Easton


Author: Elizabeth Donald

The curtain lifted on the opening number and the company presented us with a busy and attractive song and dance introduction to Skid Row, the place where Mushnik’s flower shop was dying on its feet for want of customers. Audrey one of the shop assistants suggested displaying the strange plant the other assistant Seymour was nurturing. They did so and immediately customers were drawn into the shop. Business grew just like the plant which became something of a monster. The love Seymour had for Audrey was obvious in his manner and in naming the plant Audrey II after her. The role of Seymour was played and sung with ease by Joseph Young who developed the shy assistant into confident shop partner until he realised the horror of the monster’s need for human blood. Caitlin Smith as Audrey played to a nicety the sweet but bullied victim of her boyfriend dentist. Her pure voice delighted with songs like Somewhere That’s Green. Together they carried the story along. Michael Coyne as the bullying dentist Orin Scrivello gave an exuberant performance as he fascinated, entertained and repelled in equal measure. Good to see George Marcinkiewicz on stage again creating the grumpy but far from naive role of Mr Mushnik. Richard Cook in his inimitable way was the marvellous voice of the monster plant Audrey II especially with an excellent and scary Feed Me. The almost Greek chorus trio was well delivered by Lesley Kettles as Crystal, Jennie Spowage as Ronnette and Kirsty Gillies as Chiffon, all presenting great harmonies and synchronised movement. All the other named roles were well characterised with special mention of Ann Pearston for her delivery of Mrs Bernstein. The chorus of the Skid Row residents resonated the times and place in behaviour and in costume. One of the highlights for me was the beautifully sung Suddenly Seymour. The show was well produced and cast, and the singing and orchestra well directed. It had one main set – of the shop with the monster plant – which was fab – and had an upper level which was used to advantage by the chorus observing the action and by Rob McDermott in his roles. The dentist chair scene in front of the black cloth contributed to the menace and horror of the dentist’s behaviour. All the scenes and changes ran smoothly. This was an enthusiastic company with a real belief in the show and which pulled out all the stops to entertain. Very successfully. It is also the company’s 70th year. Congratulations to all.