LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

Date 31st March 2017
Society Banbridge Musical Society
Venue IMC Movie Studios, Banbridge
Director Ian Milford
Musical Director Niall O’Flaherty
Choreographer Lynn Gourley

Report

Author: Sheelagh Hobart

Opening numbers – ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ and ‘Skid Row’ – set the scene with full company giving it

“lots of wellie”! Emma Kelly, Claire Costello and Lauren Hill sang and commented throughout as 60s Greek Chorus - Crystal, Chiffon and Ronette. With good harmonies they added greatly to the lively progress of the piece. Seymour Krelborn was skilfully played by James Martin as the shy and awkward young man who finds himself giving more than he wants to the fast-growing “strange and interesting plant” he has procured. James was entirely credible in the role. The Plant, which grew to resemble a cross between a venus fly-trap and a large avocado, was operated by puppeteer Chris Corry and given a fine baritone voice by Kyle Emerson. Outspoken and foul-mouthed, the plant’s menacing presence was well handled. Jewish flower shop owner, Mushnik, was convincingly played by veteran actor Eddie Orr. He related well to his two staff – Seymour and the downtrodden shop assistant Audrey. Lorraine Jackson-Brown played Audrey, who has questionable fashion sense and is abused by her dentist boyfriend – in beautifully stylised manner. Her longing for “Somewhere that’s Green” was sung with great sensitivity. Her relationship with Orin Scrivello, the sadistic dentist was suitably overacted as was Ruairi McAlinden as Orin! I liked his antics with his gas mask as the hapless Seymour watched him die!

Other named roles were well cast and, with the Ensemble, supported the principals with confident vocals. The eight piece band – bigger than usually plays for this show – were well controlled and balanced with the stage.

I liked the set with the street to the front of the stage and shop on slightly raised level behind.  A slight adjustment would have allowed the audience to view dancing feet and Perspex in the shop door would have prevented actors’ hands going through its “window” from time to time. Costumes were suitable for the time period. Sound was fine, lighting unremarkable. Choreography by Lynn was quite simple and effective which gave confidence to the newcomers on stage. Ian directed a nice pacey show and great entertainment for all.