The Fringe has always been a place of no limits and of being accessible to all, including the numerous school groups and companies who bring their efforts with them to Edinburgh.

Glenthorne High School under its drama programme ArtsOne bring Little Shop of Horrors to the Fringe and it's a tough one to watch. Little Shop is a big ask from any Fringe company due to the requirement for some pretty special plant effects and a score which requires soul, gospel and pop voices to carry it through.

From the start of this production there were sound issues aplenty as microphones failed to come on, then we got ear shattering feedback but the cast still soldiered on. The casting is also interesting in this production in that the characters of Chiffon, Crystal and Ronette the three wise-cracking girls are bizarrely joined by an additional fourth girl which comes across as nothing more than trying to satisfy the need to cast as many people as possible rather than adding to the production.

Once the opening had passed and we get to hear the first full company number “Skid Row” we heard the stunning difference in vocal ability from performers who can actually belt out a west end number to those singing out of tune and roaring anyway at the tops of their voices trying to overcome the obvious sound issues. Its not all bad though, the principal casting was excellent. The company didn't have a cast list to issue but the young lady playing Audrey was excellent as she channeled the great Ellen Greene but with a subtle difference to her voice. She was accompanied by a Seymour who was charming as he was clumsy although he must watch when he belts out the top notes of his range as he tends to go out of tune just a little but does actually make it suit the character.

The overall effect is actually quite fun, with the cast really enjoying themselves although they must watch out that they don't draw focus from those who performing principal roles.

They had a packed audience and the ticket price is actually good value for a 2 hour show so if you're around by Greenside in the morning you might just want to pop in on this show as long as you're not setting your expectations too high.

Reviews by Brett Herriot

theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

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Performances

The Blurb

ArtsOne return to the Edinburgh Fringe after their success with Return to the Forbidden Planet and Rent. This classic musical is not to be missed. Prepare to be eaten alive. Bring your weed killer!

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