Press Review


Tiverton Gazette


December 2012

Little Shop of Horrors

Irene Holland's Willow Tree Theatre Company has hit the jackpot this year with their production of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS...a wonderfully kitsch and bizarre American musical...a cautionary tale as well as great entertainment.

Mr Mushnik, a small time florist on Skid Row, hits the jackpot with a very unusual plant that his assistant Seymour, a chap with black goofy specs, has nurtured.  The reputation of the shop grows and grows as does the plant - a carnivorous monster consuming with relish all who stray too close.  Its meat eating habits are known only to Seymour for whom the pressure to feed his protegee becomes intolerable.  In desperation and as a finale to this raucous 50's B movie of a show (a film was made by Roger Corman - king of American B movies) he feeds his girlfriend and then himself to his ravenous plant.

All performances in this production were enormously accomplished.  Vicki Roberts has great comic timing; Will Simmons was quirky and rubbery legged; Leon Searle was an unbearably wicked dentist; the 3 Ronettes, Kim Fagg, Amy Garland and Lizzie Harvey underpinned scenes with their snappy singing and synchronised gestures; Malcolm Yeates was brilliant as the luckless Seymour and last, but certainly not least, is the plant itself - Daniel Kilshaw - who sang magnificently.  His powerful voice caused all to tremble and his leaves to writhe with horrific expectation.  A splendid live band led by Ian Crew completed the production.



The voice amplification was too loud so that some of the libretto was lost, but a genuine feel good factor was ever present.  Congratulations to the cast for the wonderful opening number choreographed by Debbie Shearman, and a particular mention for producer Steve Gage and others behind the scenes, without whose hard work and vision such a great show would not be possible.  A 1950's Pearl and Dean film advertising orange squash and the like plus a trailer for The Blob, a sci fi film with a very young Steve McQueen, was a whacky interval attraction and added to the good fun of Willow Tree's latest musical hit show.

Amanda Knott


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