Thanks to our new team members Becca and Mark for this review :
We arrived at Storyhouse (on the week of it’s second birthday) to watch their own production of Little Shop of Horrors. We have to admit that the only thing we knew about it was two lines from a song that is basically just the title on repeat, and that it involved a plant. It is safe to say, we were very excited to watch a stage show of what we knew as a cult film.
The beauty of the theatre at Storyhouse is their ability to move the seats to allow a more immersive stage, permitting characters to run on from all different angles, and incredibly shrewd placement of the band. The use of props is imaginative – predominately a dentist chair come motorbike and baby Audrey II in Seymour’s arms, in a set which does not alter from start to finish. There is a slight madness to the set design which fits well with the story, especially with the use of draped lighting hanging like vines around the set. The only downfall is, on occasion the views of the events on stage are obscured for those in the upper stalls.
The cast is small, but everyone is a talented vocalist, especially Tanisha Spring, one of the street urchins; and Audrey II has an incredible voice for a plant. This is a fun production, which had us both laughing a few times, especially at the comic timings of Orin (Stephane Anelli) the sadistic dentist; although I have to admit, I think he enjoys wiggling his hips a little too much! Michelle Bishop and Joshua Lay do a fine job as the hapless romantics and both shine in a rendition of Suddenly Seymour. There is certainly no weak link in this cast.
Audrey II would not be out of place in ‘if the muppets did little shop of horrors’ and gives a b-movie feel to the production; a clear nod to the original 1960 film. At the interval we stayed put in our seats which was an error no one should repeat as it took some of the magic away from the reveal of Audrey II’s final form. In the second half, she dominates the stage in more ways than one as her intentions become clear and serves as an allegory for western capitalism, greed and the desire for celebrity status.
Storyhouse’s Little Shop of Horrors is an exciting, entertaining production, of the musical that has, at times, an incredible amount of energy; and a loveable cast (yes, even bad boy Orin). We left the theatre singing along to the title song though we could still only remember the first two lines.
Happy 2nd Birthday Storyhouse, we look forward to your next home grown production!
Little Shop of Horrors runs until 2nd June :