REVIEW: Little Shop of Horrors – Storyhouse
What do you get when you cross a dentist, a florist and a bloodthirsty plant? Little Shop of Horrors of course! The doors to Mr Mushnik’s florist are open, enter only if you dare!
By Emma Tattum, Egwyl Editor | @emmat1995
Directed and choreographed by the multi-talented Stephen Mear, this production captivates the entire Storyhouse theatre from start to finish.
The staging and lighting enhance the intimacy of the audience and you truly feel part of the show. The small-scale cast and crew add a certain charm to the proceedings.
You’ll probably already know the story. A flower shop assistant Seymour (Joshua Lay) discovers an unusual plant that he names Audrey II (Ryan O’Gorman & Brett Shiels) after his co-worker Audrey (Michelle Bishop) in which in pines for. The plant only feeds on human flesh and blood, but only Seymour knows that…for now! The rapidly growing plant gains the worlds attention and business deals coming flying in for the once-struggling flower shop. If you haven’t seen the movie or know the story, you’ll have come down to Storyhouse and find out the ending for yourself!
Michelle Bishop’s portrayal of Audrey, the damsel in distress is exceptional. It’s not easy to show such vulnerability, wit and humour all at once, but Michelle does it with ease. A stand-out scene is her rendition of ‘Somewhere that’s green’ with Seymour. Within minutes you go from a humorous scene to a genuine tearjerker. After enduring an abusive relationship with Orin (Stephane Anelli), the motorcycle dentist, she dreams of a better life. ‘Far from Skid Row, I dream we’ll go, Somewhere that’s green’
The tremendous trio, Tanisha Spring, Emily-Mae and Cindy Belliot who portray Chiffon, Ronette and Crystal, dazzle with their strong vocals and smooth dance moves.
Talking of choreography, the scene-stealing Mr Mushnik (Tony Timberlake) shows off his slick moves in a scene that makes the audience roar with laughter.
Relationships play a key role in this production. Joshua Lay and Michelle Bishop are a brilliant pairing and you can’t help but root for them from the very beginning. Another great pairing is that of Joshua and Tony, a father-son kind of relationship that has it’s up’s and down’s throughout the show, but again, a relationship you root for. Kay Magson has done a superb job in the casting!
I can’t talk about Little Shop of Horrors without mentioning the music. The musicians are just as much part of the set as the cast. Embedded into the florist walls, they lay the foundations for the soundtrack backed up by the cast’s vocals. The opening number ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ sets the tone for the rest of the show and it will also be stuck in your head all night! Which, isn’t a bad thing! Perhaps the most popular song of the soundtrack ‘Suddenly Seymour’, acts as a turning point for both Audrey and Seymour as their relationship grows stronger and stronger.
It’s not very often that you can say the star of the show was…a plant, but this was certainly the case here. The biggest applause of the night went to Ryan O’Gorman who provides a powerful voice for Audrey II and Brett Shiels who brings the plant to a life-like state.
There is so much attention to detail from the costumes to the wired lights that spread across the theatre. The creatives have done an impeccable job.
The moral of the story is, no matter what life throws at you, whatever you’re tempted with to succeed or achieve your dream, never ever feed the plant!
Captivating, exuberant and quick-witted. It will LEAF you wanting more.
A great night out and a brilliant way to celebrate Storyhouse’s 2nd Birthday!
Little Shop of Horrors runs until Sunday 2 June. Click here for tickets. Get them whilst you can!
Visit storyhouse.com for more info on their summer season.