Theatre in Wales

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Extra-audrey meeting!

Little Shop of Horrors

Torch Theatre , Torch Theatre, Milford Haven , October 24, 2001
There’s a green party going on at the Torch Theatre, a kind of schlock horror meets ‘Gardeners’ Question Time’. It’s the company’s latest production, the ever-popular ‘Little Shop of Horrors’.

A stunning opening, coupled with amazing set, designed by Torch Theatre stalwart Sean Crowley, set the scene for this horticultural horror story. With its heart set firmly in fifties comic books – and its tongue firmly in its cheek – ‘Little Shop’ is the story of three no-hopers, flower shop owner Mr Mushnik, played by Dudley Rogers; his geeky assistant Seymour (Christian Patterson), who is secretly in love with the beautiful shop girl Audrey (Kyra Williams). There’s also a psychotic dentist and a man-eating plant from outer space!

On a deeper level one could analyse the text as a biting commentary of the pitfalls of capital punishment, and on any individual having the right to decide on the life and death of another person, but really this just the everyday story of boy meeting girl, boy feeding his rival in love to a kind of carnivorous chrysanthemum and everybody living unhappily ever after.

The Torch’s production of this classic comedy is a joy – full of energetic performances and beautifully observed comic touches.

Audrey, a Fay Wray lookalike with a Betty Boop voice, was stunning as the victim of the sadistic dentist Orin – one evening with him would get anyone flossing. Orin was played by Garry Lake who also provided the voice for the amazing Audrey 2, who was really the star of the show. I know now, there’s a lot to be said for not having green fingers.

Lake also played almost every other character in the play switching effortlessly from male to female, old to young – definitely a bud-ding star!

In fact you can ‘leaf’ it to the Torch, and artistic director Peter Doran, to have a quality cast – which also included Karin Diamond, Jill Draper and Nina Kristofferson as Chiffon, Crystal and Ronnette – the singing storytellers who guide the audience through this story of propogation peril. The Torch has another hit on its hands. And it’s st-amen to that!!

Reviewed by: Fiona Phillips

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