‘Little Shop of Horrors’ is the tale of a talking plant and also the source of a staging nightmare. It is a fabulous musical but is rarely staged by am-dram companies due to the need for Audrey II. This was no problem for City of Plymouth Youth Theatre Company whose borrowed plants went down a treat with the audience.
Alex Robins gave great characterisation to Seymour. His dance moves and vocals matched this gangly, clumsy, nerdy character. Beside him was sweet and delicate Audrey played by Amy Blackler who had a pleasant voice and excellent stage presence.
She had to contend with a cruel and deranged boyfriend in the form of dentist Orin (Will Morse) who was scarily good at acting insane. The laugh he produced when on ‘gas’ was impressive and the way he flipped between nice and nasty showed great control over the characterisation.
The ensemble supported the leads with their slick dancing and singing. Seymour describes how he came to have the plant in the song ‘Da-Doo’. The ensemble was particularly strong during this and added to the humour.
The show is set in the 1960’s and the bright costumes and chiffon scarves were in keeping with this as were the singing trio Crystal (Emma Nelder), Rosette (Shannon Jarvis) and Chiffon (Jodie Wheeler). Three strong voices with plenty of sass.
The orchestra played the rock style music wonderfully. The style and excitement of the music complimented the actors’ voices.
City of Plymouth Youth Theatre Company has plenty of rising stars which allowed them to overcome the difficulties of staging this demanding show.