It is hard to imagine a better way to make the end of the school holidays feel a little bit brighter, and more entertaining than a quick trip to the Roper Theatre and Little Shop of Horrors.
It’s enormous fun, full of energy with a cast of young principals who most definitely rise to the challenge of this cult classic.
The story of Seymour Krelborn, the meek and dejected assistant at Mushnik’s flower shop has a secret to save their business.
During a total eclipse an interesting and unusual plant arrives which he nurtures and it makes him an overnight sensation. Seymour gets his girl, the business blooms but all at a price.
The band is in fine form under the direction of Matt Finch; whilst the well drilled cast are directed by Tristan Carter with choreography by Maisie Carter. Lighting is also good from Luke John Emmett.
The sound evened out quickly without problem and the show raced through with great flair and polish.
The costumes are excellent and without question the plants, made by brilliant local puppeteer Marc Parrett steal the show. The use of the LED lights was also a fine visual moment.
The young company are led by a strong voiced and capable Liam Heap (Seymour) alongside a charming and wistful Nelly Batt (Audrey.) Her bullying dental boyfriend Finley Hodges (Orin Scrivello DDS) is great fun whilst Mushnik (Toby Fox Evans) is a mature and finely created character.
Anya Hathaway as Audrey II is a revelation; this is a powerful vocal with great attitude which allows a good personality to develop with the help of operator Lucas Porter.
There is not a weak link across the show as the skid row singers Hannah Wood, Isabelle Higham and Tara Arnold keep the story turning.
This is well worth a visit, there is much to enjoy and the standing ovation from the audience certainly sealed a successful run for this production.
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Reviewer: Petra Schofield
Little Shop of Horrors is a Curtain Up Theatre School production at the West Wing, Roper Theatre.