#tweetingit – 4**** A pitch perfect performance
A charming, kooky and hilarious 1950s musical comedy, Little Shop of Horrors tells the story of Seymour, the assistant at Mushnik’s FlowerShop in Skid Row, New York, who becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers a strange and exotic plant. One of the first ‘musical movies’ I watched as a child, this rendition does everything and more to entertain!
Directed by Tara Louis Wilkinson, this production pays homage to the era of Motown, starting with an explosive opening number by the supreme-esque threesome Ronnette, Crystal and Chiffon. Appearing in snippets throughout the show, each of these ‘Supreme’ inspired characters absolutely delivered and gave a pitch perfect performance.
The main storyline is based on a romance between two characters, Seymour and Audrey, played by Sam Lupton and Stephanie Clift. Working together in Mushnik’s flower shop, a romance soon blossoms (excuse the pun) alongside the growth of an alien plant, aptly named ‘Audrey 2’. Audrey 2 soon becomes a celebrity in its own right, rapidly growing in size under the care and supervision of Seymour. Relying on set design to help deliver its character, Audrey 2 was large and in charge, with a deep booming voice which filled the theatre. Seymour and Audrey were also well cast, with their best performance residing in ‘Call Back in the Morning’.
Despite this, it was actually the character of ‘Orin’, Audrey’s good-for-nothing-boyfriend who stole the show! Orin, a dentist who favours slightly sadistic methods of treatment, is played by the brilliant, yet wacky, Rhydian- a face you’ll no doubt recognize from The X Factor. He’s absolutely bonkers- but brilliant at the same time. One of the best numbers ‘Be A Dentist’ featuring Orin, Chiffon, Crystal and Ronette, was certainly a scene to be remembered. Completely nailing the darker side of his character, Rhydian made a return at the end of the show to play a series of quirky characters, showing his versatility and comedic side as an actor.
The set design was good and was exactly how I would have imagined it. Whilst Audrey 2 was puppeteered extremely well, I do think that there could have been a way of making the plant travel across the stage or increase in height. Each play has this kind of moment with their main prop (E.g. Phantom and the Chandelier) and this in my opinion, would have really cemented that ‘wow moment’.
All in all, the performance was great- although it did start slightly late in a very hot theatre. I’d definitely recommend booking a ticket, you’ll have a great night out! You can even order snacks and drinks to your seat- what a rare treat!
Reviewer: Amy Penn
Book and Lyrics: Howard Ashman
Music: Alan Menken
Director: Tara Louis Wilkinson
Reviewed: Scott Matthewman
Running on tour until 19 November 2016
Box Office www.atgtickets.com/venues/new-wimbledon-theatre | 020 8545 7900