Little Shop of Horrors

Little Shop of Horrors, the cult classic that brought us endlessly popular tunes such as “Suddenly Seymour” and “Somewhere that’s Green” tells the story of Seymour and Audrey, two low-paid shop assistants who work in a failing florists in downtown New York. Their fortunes change when Seymour persuades his boss to put a very unusual plant he’s found in the shop window. It attracts a lot of custom. Unfortunately, Seymour learns that the only food the plant will eat is human blood. Initially he gives it some of his own blood, but eventually the plant’s appetite increases with its size, and things take a darker turn.

In all, this is a fun piece of theatre with great songs and a giant singing plant.

This is a fun romp of a musical with all the popular appeal you would expect from the writing partnership that later went on to write Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid. Its dark themes of domestic abuse, poverty traps and the limits of ethical behaviour are dealt with with such a light touch that you’re never really expected to engage with them on a deep level. There are lots of songs, and they’re all energetically performed by the talented, lively cast.

There are a few slightly morally dicey moments. Audrey’s domestic abuse story is played largely for laughs in a way that manages to not be offensive—but only just. And there’s something slightly off-colour about taking a character who is a domestic abuser, writing him as essentially a pantomime villain, and then having him played by the most famous and beloved performer in the cast (Rhydian). In general though, the show manages to stay on the right side of being irreverent without being upsetting.

The cast is very strong. Sasha Latoya, Vanessa Fisher and Cassie Clare light up the stage with the energy and fun they bring to their numbers, and each of them does something special with their solo moments. The two leads also give really great performances. Sam Lupton (Seymour) has a simply beautiful voice—pure and strong. His performance is sweet and convincing. Stephanie Clift is fantastic as Audrey. She has arguably the most difficult role, as she has to juggle a very upsetting story in a way that does it justice, while also remaining fundamentally a comedy character, and she pulls it off. She’s charming and goofy but makes sure we’re also able to feel the pathos of her story.

In all, this is a fun piece of theatre with great songs and a giant singing plant. Well worth the price of a ticket. 

Reviews by Grace Knight

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★★★★

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Seymour Krelborn, the assistant at Mushnik's Flower Shop in downtrodden Skid Row, becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers a strange and exotic plant. He names it Audrey Two in order to impress glamorous Audrey, the colleague he’s secretly in love with.

Audrey Two quickly starts to wilt, putting Seymour’s job and dream future with Audrey at risk. Accidentally pricking his finger, Seymour discovers Audrey Two needs a little more than plant food to thrive. The plant grows into a bad-tempered, foul-mouthed carnivore whose voracious appetite becomes increasingly difficult to satisfy. How far will Seymour go for the woman of his dreams?

Rhydian will play sadistic dentist Orin Scrivello. Rhydian rose to fame as a runaway success on ITV’s The X Factor. Since then he has sold in excess of a million albums worldwide, released six albums and duetted and performed with some of the biggest names in the music industry. His many theatre credits include Grease, We Will Rock You, The War Of The Worlds, Jesus Christ Superstar and the 40th Anniversary Tour of The Rocky Horror Show. Rhydian has just completed his third solo UK tour and is a Classical Brit Award nominee.

With music by the legendary Alan Menken, best known for his numerous Walt Disney film scores, Little Shop of Horrors is a cult film and one of the longest running off-Broadway shows of all time.

Sell a Door Theatre Company have previously toured critically acclaimed productions of Avenue Q, The History Boys, American Idiot and Seussical the Musical.

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