MUSICAL REVIEW: Little Shop of Horrors ★★★★
Little Shop of Horrors
Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
Thursday 27th October 2016
Based on the 1960 film directed by Roger Corman, Little Shop of Horrors is a rock musical which follows the life of helpless Seymour, who lives on Skid Row, and how he becomes famous when he put his alien Venus flytrap which he found one night on an eclipse, and puts it in the window of the florist where he works, Mushnik’s. I first watched a production of ‘Little Shop’ back in August 2015 at The Edinburgh Fringe, and have loved it ever since, and clearly watching this current touring production has really reminded me why I love this musical so much!
The pace and energy from start to finish is what draws you completely into this world where Seymour and love interest Audrey live in Skid Row. Sam Lupton (Seymour) and Stephanie Clift (Audrey) are perfect casting in their roles, as they bring such conviction and chemistry to their friendship shown clearly on stage. The way Seymour is wrote in the favour of falling in love with Audrey is so apparent, especially as he names his flytrap Audrey II. Rhydian, star on the 2007 series of X Factor, portrays Orin, Audrey’s abusive boyfriend and Dentist in the city, with such disgust that we immediately loath his character. Rhydian is convincing as Orin, but I still believe that he could push the character a lot more with movement and voice to really get the menacing characteristic that Orin entails, though Rhydian’s performance provides sickly charm that he pulls off incredibly well.
When I saw this production in Edinburgh 2015, the way Audrey II was presented was having the cast and crew embody the flytrap with prosthetic, which allowed Audrey to expand with ease, which in a way lacked realism, which this performance certainly did not, as we saw Audrey II grow with the help of puppets that made this production that extra bit special. Now I won’t reveal how Audrey II grows just encase there is someone who has yet to see this production, but the way this is conveyed and ties in with the constant development of Seymour's character is perfectly presented in this production, giving Sam Lupton so much scope and experimental needs when portraying his character.
The music and set though really are the highlights to this show, as every song seems memorable in this production, having you leave the auditorium with a certainty that you will be singing or humming the tunes the whole way home, with ‘Feed Me (Git It)’, a song between Seymour and Audrey II, being a personal favourite for me! The movement of scenery is incredibly slick which ultimately makes the experience that extra bit more special, and the attention to detail is also spot on, from the flowers to building signs, or the ever changing and artistic local newspaper headlines that accompany relatable scenes, which is situated at the front of the stage and throughout the entire performance!