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Little Shop of Horrors, 2010

How does it grow, Grandad?

The stuff of nightmares for some of the tinies in the matinée audience for Young Gen’s terrific production of that grisly, twisted musical Little Shop of Horrors.

A great soundscape, a somewhat flat set, with the band at an upper window, took us down Skid Row, to watch a florist’s fortunes revived by a strange and interesting plant, thirsty for human blood and world domination.

There’s a boy meets girl plot in there too, struggling to get past the weirdness, as geeky, increasingly anaemic Seymour [ a superb characterization from Sam Pridige ] wins the heart of leggy seedling Audrey, engagingly played in a girlish whisper by Annabel Bond. Her wistful yearning for Somewhere That’s Green was a high point of a consistently stylish show.

Photographs by Barrie White-Miller

Sam Toland put everything into the sadistic dentist, and Kevin Jarvis was a gravel-voiced Mushnik. Very watchable star cameos from a quick-changing Callum Crisell in Act Two, and an invisible Bart Lambert provided Audrey II [the man-eating flytrap] with a vivid vocal presence.

There were some lovely moments in Jeremy Tustin’s production, – the newspapers, the faces at the window – and I especially admired the use of the urchins, and the talented backing group [Crystal, Ronette and company] whose fancy harmonies and cool dance moves were a constant delight.

Michael Gray

Read Stewart Adkins’s review of Little Shop of Horrors.