Saturday, 3 May 2014

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS by Spotlight Theatre School
Nottingham Arts Theatre.

Some would say that "Little Shop Of Horrors" isn't quite age appropriate for a young theatre group to perform due to the small matters of human sacrifice and physical abuse, but hey, it's a happy kind of musical which doesn't have a happy ending, except for Audrey 2, the plant.

The story, as everyone knows, is Seymour's story of his rise to fame thanks to his discovery of a flesh eating plant which needs human flesh and blood to survive and the decision which Seymour has to make as to whether he continue his fame, and all the trappings that go with it, or do the right thing and destroy the plant before it destroys him. Well we all know that there is no happy ending where Seymour and Audrey skip off hand in hand into the Brooklyn sunset.

I'm going to be mildly critical here because I think the group can take it, and I hope they realise what a fan of "Spotlight" I am. At times the live band, who I must admit were excellent, were sometimes a little overpowering with some of the young singers who didn't have as powerful a voice as some of the others, and some of the humour in the songs was lost due to this, but I could tell that the sound mixer was doing his best to make it better, which I noticed in part two, there was an improvement.

Acting wise, James Murray was great as the nerdy Seymour and you can tell that his voice has matured from last year's "13-The Musical" and has grown stronger.

Audrey, played by Charleigh Hunt, could have gone a wee bit more over the top with the Brooklyn accent but gave a good performance as the loyal punch bag for her boyfriend/dentist Orin Scrivello, played by Miles Cliff, who for me stole the show with his manic S&M portrayal of the Steve Martin character in the film.

Crystal (Eva Sheppard), Chiffon (Grace Hodgett-Young) and Ronnette (Georgia Hodgett-Young) fizzed nicely as the opening scene setters and backing singers, and Audrey 2 was suitably menacing in the hands of Billy Stockwell and the voice of Cassie Hall. Some really strong vocals from the soul/gospel plant!

Rounding off the main characters was Alex Reed as the florist shop owner, Mr Mushnik.

Nicely designed set and good use of the stage and the auditorium itself.

Making her directing debut in "LSOH" was Jessica Royce (who also choreographed the show), ably assisted by Liam Hall. Production was undertaken by Amanda Hall and a very smooth job by all three to bring this production to the Arts Theatre stage, only 9 weeks after being cast.

A solid team effort by everyone from Spotlight, and while it's easy for me to nit pick here and there, this group of young people put their all into shows like this and deserve the recognition for what they do in providing entertainment to the theatre going public of Nottingham.

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