Not many musicals will issue you with a sing-a-long book with the lyrics to chorus numbers so you can join in, but this interactive production of Little Shop… has a few surprises in store. Audience members are pulled up on stage to dance along with the cast, and sitting in the first row I’m one of the first victims, too game to retreat.
The music is from Alan Menkan, the guy who later went on to write the music for Disney’s Aladdin and other childhood favourites, so quality is assured. Sadly there’s no band to play the music, but the recordings do the job.
A quirky directorial decision was to have the props and cast in grey scale, these boys and girls are caked in grey and black make-up to contrast the monstrous green plant who eats people alive, growing bigger and bigger. Perhaps not bringing in some plants for leading lady Audrey’s show-stopping Something Green was a missed opportunity to further play on the contrast.
The main credits of this production go to the lead roles Cath Snowball (as Audrey) and Chris Rushmere York as Seymour who created a really tangible but very shy and coy chemistry between themselves. Two people who are not quite sure of themselves in love, even as she touches him cautiously she flinches and recoils in a way which makes her secret feelings real.
Reece Connolly also gives an enjoyable performance as Jewish chutzpah Mr. Mushnik, the shop owner. Jonny Hall carries off the role of sociopathic dentist with due masochism and a psychotic stare, but doesn’t quite capture the contrasting self-assured poise and charisma that would give the dentist a sex appeal deriving from his complete lack of insecurity.
theSpaces on Niddry Street
22-27th Aug 2011http://www.violetshock.co.uk/