A Little Bit of a Little Shop of Horrors

little shop of horrors
Little Shop of Horrors live on stage

Da-Do…

Before it was the 1986 musical film starring Rick Moranis and Steve Martin, Little Shop of Horrors was an off-Broadway musical. Before it was a stage play, it was a 1960s film. Before it was a film, it was either one of two science fiction stories. There’s something about the idea of a predatory, perambulatory, pontificating plant that appeals to an audience and both the 1986 film and the stage musical have become cult classics.

little shop of horrors
Little Shop of Horrors live on stage

Shoop-Da-Do…

Acting and production mean nothing unless the script and score itself is good, and this play is really, really good. The story is both gritty and whimsical, and is as much a tribute to the 1960s rock’n’roll American Dream as it is a horror-comedy about a carnivorous plant. The play follows an unlikely young man called Seymour working in a florist in a rough part of town who suddenly finds fame and fortune after raising a bulb with bloodlust. Writer Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken are a dream team, and the play is full of catchy songs and zinger one-liners.

little shop of horrors
Little Shop of Horrors live on stage

Chang-Da-Do…

The production of this play is fantastic. The set itself is really cleverly done with a single room raised at an angle for the florist shop, and a curtain that runs across the front where other scenes are projected and to allow for set changes. For the first act, everything is black and white. The décor, the costumes, the sets and even the makeup of the cast. Whereas for the second act, everything is in vibrant technicolour. The pièce de résistance however is definitely the plant itself. As the play progresses it grows from cute handheld puppet to inflatable extravaganza and its final form is simply a marvel.

Little Shop of Horrors
Little Shop of Horrors live on stage

Snip-Da-Do…

But what about the acting? Well, Rick Moranis and Steve Martin are a hard act to follow, but I really liked the cast. Esther Hannaford is an incredible Audrey with a killer voice and impeccable comedic timing. Brent Hill is a convincing wallflower Seymour and Tyler Coppin smoothly overcame some unlucky technical difficulties as the shopowner Mr Mushnik. I’m pretty sure that Scott Johnson was fantastic as Audrey’s sadistic and abusive dentist boyfriend, but I actually could not take my eyes off how tight his pants were. Chloe Zuel is an absolute standout in the streetwise, motown/doo-wop all-girl trio including Angelique Cassimatis and Josie Lane who provide the bulk of the singing throughout the play.

Sha-Lala-Do….

Little Shop of Horrors, produced by Luckiest Productions and Tinderbox Productions, is currently touring Australia and you should really go and see it.

Little Shop of Horrors runs for 2 weeks in Perth from 4 to 11 August at His Majesty’s Theatre. Get your tickets here!

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Angharad 'Hari' Lodwick

Angharad (it’s Welsh, “Hari” for short) was born in Melbourne, spent five years as an ex-pat brat in Jakarta, Indonesia before moving to a 50 acre property in rural Victoria. With that kind of a polarised upbringing, it’s no wonder she turned out to be somewhat of a “free spirit”. Angharad’s obsessions are books and rabbits, both of which probably originate from reading Watership Down, Alice in Wonderland and Beatrix Potter repeatedly as a child. She has been affectionately dubbed a “crazy bunny lady” on more than one occasion. Angharad has a lot to say about human rights and modern culture, and loves to explore new ideas and push boundaries. She likes to experience what she writes, and has been known to befriend East Javanese tattoo artists, drive up erupting volcanoes and walk naked through the National Gallery of Australia. Angharad is hoping to bring a sense of wonder, curiosity and adventure to Lost Magazine, with or without clothes. If you want to risk catching her book fanaticism, you can also check out her book blog at http://tintededges.wordpress.com.

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