REVIEW: Little Shop of Horrors 2016 UK Tour Review

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Source: Matt Martin Photography

Director – Tara Louis Wilkinson

CAST

Seymour – Sam Lupton

Audrey – Stephanie Clift

Orin Scrivello – Rhydian Roberts

Mr Mushnik – Paul Kissaun

Crystal – Sasha Latoya

Chiffon – Vanessa Fisher

Ronnette – Cassie Clare

Audrey II (Voice) – Neil Nicholas

Audrey II (Puppeteer) – Josh Wilmott

Male Ensemble – Phil Adèle

Female Ensemble – Stephanie McConville

Little Shop of Horrors is based on a book by Howard Ashman and was originally released as a film in 1960 and again in 1986. It was a cult classic that still has a following today and blends sci-fi and horror with comedy. This production by Sell a Door Theatre Company directed by Tara Wilkinson does not disappoint.

Sam Lupton is brilliantly cast as Seymour, the geeky shop worker. He brings an endearing quality to the character accompanied by strong vocals. Seymour works at Mushnik’s Florist, run by the brilliant Paul Kissaun as Mr Mushnik. The florist, that is based in Skid Row in New York, is struggling to survive.   Seymour has a passion for unusual plants and is in love with colleague Audrey played by Stephanie Clift. Clift adds a poignancy to Audrey’s lovable goofiness, particularly in her performance of “Somewhere That’s Green”.

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Source: Matt Martin Photography

Audrey dreams of a different life to the one that she currently has with her boyfriend Orin, played by Rhydian Roberts. Rhydian gives a brilliant interpretation of this dark, manic character and it is clear in his performance that Steve Martin’s memorable portrayal has influenced him. A highlight for this character comes when we see Rhydian’s ability to hold a ridiculously long note. As fans of the show will have guessed, his role as Orin is short-lived. However, he returns in act 2 which gave Roberts’ the opportunity to display his versatility by appearing as several cameo characters.

sam-lupton-as-seymour-and-rhydian-roberts-as-orin-scrivello-in-little-shop-of-horrors-photo-credit-matt-martin
Source: Matt Martin Photography

Crystal (Sasha Latoya), Chiffon (Vanessa Fisher) and Ronnette (Cassie Clare) are all excellent in their own unique way and they managed to keep the show rolling. Their voices blend together seamlessly whilst still being able to display their own talents to the audience. Neil Nicholas voices Audrey 2 and brings the plant to life with great characterisation and excellent puppetry by Josh Wilmott.

Overall, this production of Little Shop of Horrors is a new take on the cult classic. For me, this is a very easy recommendation – colourful, quirky, and entertaining with great performances all round accompanied by a brilliant set and band. Just remember – don’t feed the plants!

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