Theatre in Wales

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Little Shop of Horrors

At Theatr Clwyd

For The Grace Of You Go I , Anthony Hopkins Theatre, Theatr Clwyd, Mold , October 18, 2015
At Theatr Clwyd by For The Grace Of You Go I Book & Lyrics by Howard Ashman Music by Alan Menken

A flower shop on skid row in a 1950s American city doesn't get many customers. Not until klutzy sales assistant, Seymour, puts a plant in the window. A plant that he found after a mysterious meteor shower.

He gives it a name, Audrey 2, after the love of his life who also works in the shop but who belongs to another. It's only when Seymour pricks his finger on a rose that Audrey 2's true nature is revealed, with spectacular consequences.

A 1960 black and white movie made very quickly and for little money is transformed by the addition of songs that wittily reflect the period into a musical that leaps off the stage with tuneful exuberance.

The three girl chorus (Maisey Bawden, Danielle Kassaraté and Paige Miller) pop up to comment in song on events, to great effect. Daniel Boys is a suitably bemused Seymour. He sings very well, especially in what must be the most unusual duet in any musical, one with a plant.

Georgina White is delicious as his beloved Audrey, her wistful delivery of Somewhere That's Green is one of the show's highlights. Garry Lake is superb as her appalling boy friend, a sadistic dentist with a motorbike and leathers, described at one point as the Leader of the Plaque.

Phylip Harries is shop owner, Mushnik, a man confident in his greed and selfishness.

However, none of these humans stand a chance against the scene-stealing Audrey 2. I mean no insult when I say that Daniel Lloyd's brilliant voice work and puppeteer, Michael Humphreys' equally effective manipulation are quite forgotten when the plant is active. It is an entity in its own right with a toothed mouth that would put Jaws to shame.

Director, Tim Baker, keeps things moving at a cracking pace. The flexible set designed by Ruth Hall and Max Jones is as full of witty touches as the lyrics.

This is a gloriously enjoyable, tuneful and funny entertainment with a star turn from the nastiest plant on or off the planet.

Reviewed by: Victor Hallett

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