Little Shop of Horrors - Dynamik Theatre

Pitch perfect harmonies, impressive staging and an all-round superb show!"

I’m starting this review with the caveat that I LOVE Little Shop of Horrors and any chance I get to see a production, I will.  So did the team at Dynamik Theatre blow me away, or do I wish I had been eaten by the plant!

You’ll no doubt be pleased to read that the talent I witnessed this afternoon was outstanding and I left in awe of the quality of this production. Under the Artistic Direction of Jamie Poxon, Dynamik Theatre provided a show full of pitch perfect harmonies and impressive staging that left me wanting more.

The 1986 film starring Rick Moranis and Ellen Greene has something of cult status.  The story of a flesh-eating plant sent to wipe humankind from the world may seem a little strange but mix in many moments of humour and an incredible array of songs from the pen of Alan Menken, it’s a guaranteed winner.

The show starts on the streets of Skid Row, a very rundown part of America where no-one is happy, things are bleak, and nothing ever happens.  The infectious doo-wop style music starts, and we meet Crystal (Yasmeen Shaaban), Chiffon (Lauren Toney) and Ronnette (Emma Neale) who are instrumental through every musical number.  The harmonies from this trio were tight and tuneful.  If this was the level of talent at the start, then I knew this was going to be good. 

We meet Seymour (Ollie Harper), the downtrodden, deadbeat lost soul who works day in, day out at Mr Mushnik’s (Jack Higgins) flower shop.  Harper was perfect for this role, displaying star quality from the outset.  He understood the character and with an outstanding voice, Seymour was anything but a shrinking violet.  Higgins as Mr Mushnik was able to bring a sprinkling of comedy to the role of a man waiting for the day that his luck changed and the till started ringing.  Another performer who looked extremely comfortable on stage.

Seymour’s love interest Audrey is played by Annabel Pilcher.  Throughout the show Pilcher oozed star quality, portraying the vulnerable and soft-spoken character to a tee.  Every note she sang was perfect, especially during ‘Somewhere That’s Green’ which is a real story telling song.  She was able to act through the music brilliantly bringing lots of light and shade.  Along with probably one of my favourite musical theatre duets of all time ‘Suddenly Seymour’, Pilcher and Harper provided one of the many goosebump moments throughout the show.

If you’ve seen the film, you will have seen the deliciously devilish boyfriend of Audrey’s, Orin Scrivello.  A sadistic dentist who you wouldn’t want within 10 feet of your molars!  This role is played by Ed Blann wonderfully.  He was able to capture the nasty side of this man who wanted nothing more than to inflict pain on everyone he encounters, including long suffering Audrey.  Don’t worry though, he gets his comeuppance by a very hungry plant!  Blann also arrived on stage as various other characters showing his diversity as an actor.

Now, Little Shop of Horrors would be nothing without Audrey II, the plant sent from outer space to cause havoc.  The voice in this production is provided by Alex Wheatley who was able to bring the boom and gravelly sound that befits such a beastly shrub.  The puppetry and sight of the fast-growing plant was very impressive and clearly no expense has been spared in getting this right.

Musically, the orchestra under the Musical Direction of Callum Thompson provided an incredible sound befitting the many ear worms scattered throughout this show. 

In summary, I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoons entertainment and would like to extend my thanks to the wonderful cast and crew of Dynamik Theatre who are very much shining stars in the amateur theatre world.

Details of Dynamik Theatre can be found here: Dynamik Theatre

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