NODA Report
(Little Shop of Horrors - 2012)

Little Shop of Horrors.
Willow Tree Theatre Company
New Hall
December 2012

Director:  Michael Gilbert.
M.D:  Ian Crew.
Producer: Steve Gage.
Choreographer:  Debbie Shearman.
What a little gem of a show this was! Every visit to a production, good or bad, finds enjoyment and entertainment to some degree, just occasionally, wham bam; we are blown out of our seats!

To advocate the B-movie genre style of this show, opening black and white, old film excerpts and slogans, a selection of adverts from the era in the interval and relevant 1950/60's pictures during vocal numbers, gave a clever and inspired addition to this fast moving production. An excellent 'skid row' set, along with balanced, controlled sound could not be faulted, a feature we always expect from this society and once again did not disappoint.

Icing on the cake were the wonderful prop 'Audrey's' emulating into an ever growing, human played version, starting with two, and ending up with seven people playing various parts of the plant. Perfect sound synchronisation and costume brought this particular plant almost to the realms of realism, if you've ever heard of such a thing!

Casting from within the company was ideal. Opening the show, three lady narrators were the full package, moving and dancing with style while still managing to act convincingly, maintaining tighter than tight harmonies supported by an edgy band that pumped out rhythm at great pace. A suitably 'nerdy' Seymour and multi- talented Audrey, brought their characters alive as did Orin, the dentist, his portrayal full of strength and energy bringing a 'scary', realistic sense of 'derangement' to the part. A competent, funny rendition of "Mushnik & Son" beautifully highlighted the many skills of Mushnik including a most convincing accent.

The finale saw what appeared to be 'hundreds' of 'little' human Audrey's, spewed out from just about every available crevice of the front stage. This 'shock impact' was the culmination of a top notch show which kept the adrenaline flowing from start to finish. A brilliant piece of stage work!