Rhydian

Little Shop of Horrors

Lichfield Garrick

*****

LITTLE Shop of Horrors is a perennial favourite with audiences and as such it is difficult for any director to propagate originality into the production.

However, Director Tara Louis Wilkinson and the creative team have managed to cultivate some variety into this well-loved musical.

Whilst working for failing florist Mushnik (Paul Kissaun), botanical genius Seymour (Sam Lupton) discovers an unusual, never seen before potted plant which he names ‘the Audrey Two’ after his good-looking, ditsy, blonde co- worker Audrey (Stephanie Clift).

She is Seymour’s love interest, but unfortunately for both of them Audrey already has a boyfriend; the cruel, sadistic neighbourhood dentist Orin (Rhydian).

Meanwhile, Seymour discovers that the Audrey Two is no ordinary sapling. No Baby Bio can nurture this alien, carnivorous cutting. Cries of 'feed me Seymour' (voiced by Neil Nicholas) emit from this creeping monster, its voracious appetite demanding ever increasing quantities of human nourishment. 

Seymour, realising that the plant needs sustenance and that dentist Orin is standing in the way of love, arranges the ‘disposal’ of his arch-nemesis in the form of a ‘dental im-plant’! And so the horrors begin.

Sam Lupton is strong in the role of Seymour. Whilst delivering great vocals, a convincingly wide range of emotions and endless energy he carries the storyline superbly.  Stephanie Clift is well cast as Audrey, and expertly portrays the down-trodden, fragile character in need of being loved. The on-stage partnership works well and this is demonstrated in the cleverly choreographed Call Back in the Morning and the beautiful rendition of Suddenly, Seymour.

Rhydian’s (of The X-Factor fame - seen above) stunningly wide vocal range and ability bring vitality to Be a Dentist and Now (It’s just the Gas)

His acting skill is equal to his voice and he brings a unique characterisation to the manic, sadistic dentist which is hilariously chilling. He also delights with some unexpected cameo roles and super fast costume changes.

Well supported by good performances from Paul Kissaun (Mushnik), Sasha Latoya (Crystal), Vanessa Fisher (Chiffon) and Cassie Clare (Ronette) , and well timed puppetry from Josh Wilmott. Excellent vocals and choreography from all the cast, a well designed set and some fun background antics from the ensemble resulted in a rousing ovation from a very appreciative opening night audience. The seed has been sown for a successful run of this herbaceous horror at Lichfield Garrick to 24th September

Rosemary Manjunath and Elizabeth Smith

20-09-16 

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