City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Little Shop of Horrors Review 2


By Gordon Clayton - Posted on 30 September 2009

4
Show Details
Company: 
Menier Chocolate Factory
Production: 
Matthew White (Director), David Farley (Set, Costume and Plant Design), Lynne Page (Choreography), David Howe (Lighting)
Performers: 
Damian Humbley (Seymour), Claire Buckfield (Audrey), Lara Martin (Chiffon) Cathryn Davis (Crystal), Keisha Amponsa Banson (Ronnette), Kraig Thornber (Mushnik), Orin (Alex Ferns), Clive Rowe (Audrey II - Voice), Brain Herring (Audrey II - Manipulation)
Running time: 
120mins

This is a shop full of talent with a monster munch as the centre piece. The audience entered the festival theatre to an open stage and could not fail to be impressed with the atmospheric scenery and settled down in anticipation of a quality show.

They were not disappointed, the cast were all excellent with Damian Humbley, with less credits to his name than others, capturing the unfortunate downtrodden, guilt-ridden Seymour in the central role.

Clare Buckfield returning to the theatre after two tours of ‘Dancing on Ice' played the abused Audrey with humour and fragility when required and you could have heard the proverbial pin drop in her solo ‘Somewhere that's Green'.

Kraig Thornber as the dubiously philanthropic owner of the failing florist's shop is faultless and Alex Ferns (Trevor from Eastenders) squeezes every bit of humour possible from his main role as the manic dentist Orin.

These main parts were ably supported by three female singers who almost act as narrators throughout the show.

It took a little time to adjust to the overall sound of the prologue, but as the ‘plot' developed you looked forward to their numbers. In terms of musicals, this is a light-hearted romp and the title should not put anybody off. The average age of the audience on opening night was a lot lower than usual and perhaps more mature theatregoers are missing out.

The plant ‘Audrey 2 saves the shop and the jobs of its staff before making its demands known through its voice provided convincingly by Clive Rowe. The set design and plant rightly appear high up in the credits and the ability to revolve between skid row and the shop interior is very clever with the added complication of the dentist surgery as well.

The manipulation of Audrey 2 by Brian Herring makes the storyline almost credible and it's where amateur productions do not have the resources to make these scenes work effectively.

Let's not forget the music; this show has lots of good numbers with ‘Suddenly Seymour', ‘Feed Me' and ‘Somewhere that's Green' the pick. While not the longest of shows, this is an enjoyable evening of a sleek professional production well received by the audience.

Times: Until Sat 3 Oct

Read Lindsay Corr's review of Little Shop of Horrors