Review: The Little Shop of Horrors

The Little Shop of Horrors has to be one of, if not my favourite musical, I’ve now lost count of how many times I’ve seen it, but I will see it hopefully many more times as well. Like a book that you can read multiple times you know a stage show is a winner if you can watch it over and over, and, that is the case with the Little Shop.

It’s a musical in the comedy rock-horror genre, loosely based on the story of the 1960 film Little Shop of Horrors and the whole production has a feel of those 1950 early 60s B movies. The musical adaptation has been both a movie and also an award winning stage musical.

Set in New York’s seedy Skid Row three street urchins, Chiffon, Crystal and Ronnette set the scene and continue to inject musical narration throughout the production. If the names seem familiar it would be because by adding an “S” to the end of their names you get girl groups of the early 60s. In fact all the music lends itself to the Phil Spector and Motown era.

Janna May, Zweyla Mitchell Dos Santos and Chardai Shaw in the roles of the aforementioned girls all give outstanding performances bringing that girl-group sound to the stage perfectly.

The hero of the piece is Seymour and Oliver Mawdsley is perfectly cast in the geeky role, supported by Laura Jane Matthewson in the female lead of Audrey.

Working in a downbeat area of the city for a struggling florist Seymour discovers a strange looking plant, which has a growing thirst for “blood”. Secretly Seymour is in love with Audrey, but she has an evil abusive boyfriend but she doesn’t think she deserves any better. Maybe this strange plant could change everything, but will it be for the better?

There’s a great supporting cast, lots of dark humour, and a very talented plant that sings brilliantly thanks to Anton Stephans…. What a voice evocative of some great 60s soul singers!

As I said at the outset I’ve seen Little Shop numerous times, but can honestly say that this production has done the original Broadway show proud. 

Book your tickets now and plant yourself in your seat and prepare for a great evening of music and fun.

• The Little Shop of Horrors is at the New Wolsey, Ipswich until 23rd March –


Review: Mark Keable, Ipswich24 Magazine
Pictures: Pamela Raith Photography

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