On your feet for the mean green mother from outerspace – the man-eating plant that is taking over the Spa.
The touring version of the Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s musical is fun, funky, frigthening and fiendishly funny.
Sam Lupton plays mild-mannered florist shop assistant Seymour who cultivates a plant which he calls Audrey II after his co-worker with whom he is in love.
It thrives only on human blood – and Seymour is forced to feed its habit. Sounds gruesome – but this is not a blood-splattered gore fest. It is a black-humoured, tongue-in-cheek spoof of the sci-fi B movies of the 1950s – think Creature from the Black Lagoon and It Came from Mars.
It plays on the Communist paranoia of that era – and explores how far people will go to achieve fame and fortune.
It is set to a Motown-infused score and includes three singer-narrators whose names – Chiffon, Ronnette and Crystal – nail that influence to the mast. Sasha Latoya, Vanessa Fisher and Cassie Clare were brilliant.
Lupton is excellent as Seymour and his innocence is perfectly balanced by Stephanie Clift’s more knowing Audrey – a Marilyn Monroe-type blonde airhead.
One of the loudest roars of the night went to Rhydian – a former The X Factor alumni. He plays Orin – Audrey’s sadistic dentist boyfriend. He ate up the cameo with his vocal range and stage skills with relish. He showed off more skills with a rack of cameos in the second half.
The star of the show – the puppets worked and voiced by Josh Wilmott and Neil Nicholas respectively. Audrey II has the blues voice of a Barry White and the moves of the Four Tops. Little Shop stands or falls by the quality of Audrey II and this one is top notch. Everything about the show screams quality and it is a scream.
It runs until Saturday October 15, daily at 7.30pm. Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.
Box office: 01262 678258