NODA Review: Little Shop of Horrors

NODA Review 7 NOVEMBER 2017

Little Shop of Horrors

Young NOMADS

Director Andy McGowan chose this popular, slightly surreal and fairly macabre tale of the man-eating plant for Young NOMADS’ final show of 2017. This is a fun show with a song style reminiscent of the golden 60s. We have the young lovers, the abusive brute, the mean shop owner and the crooning girls who all bring the plot alive and gory details become tolerable as the over-the-top situations unfold.

MARCUS PORTER was very good as the bullying shop owner Mushnik, particularly when he realises he needs Seymour as his plant causes business to bloom so he ‘adopts’ Seymour leading to the highly amusing song and dance Mushnik and Son

ALFIE DRY as Orin threw himself into his role with both abandon and, seemingly, great enjoyment. His delivery was a bit overly manic at times and his shared duet with Seymour Now (It’s Just the Gas) in the dental surgery was pretty macabre. I was trying hard not to think of my upcoming dental appointment!

Audrey, played by SOPHIE OWEN, was every bit the young, victimised beauty. Her delightful solo Somewhere That’s Green was beautifully done. A very mature performance from this young actress and she died sadly but beautifully.

ALEX MATTHEWS was well cast and did a tremendous job of Seymour., maintaining his focus throughout. He was the perfect foil for Mushnik and created a wonderfully bumbling relationship with Audrey. He has a fine voice too. His duet with Audrey, Suddenly Seymour was one of the highlights of the show for me. This was a quality performance by a young actor in a demanding role.

The leads were skilfully backed by RHIANNON MCBEAN, ESTHER RUSE and OLIVIA STEVENS, as Ronnette, Crystal and Chiffon — three girls who help the story along by breaking into song at appropriate intervals. At times they were joined by 3 other singers AMELIA PRICE, EVE LIMING and OLIVE RUSE. Excellent singers all. Great to listen to and a pleasure to watch.

Of course, the scene-stealer is naturally The Plant. Nicely manipulated by the unseen ZARA MINNS and chillingly voiced by the resonant tones of the versatile JOSPEH BEACH. An excellent performance.

Fitting choreography by JESS CLIFFORD, superb costumes by SARAH SMITH and EMILY BURBIDGE, scenery, which was excellent, a good lighting design and skilfully controlled radio mics all helped to make this production one of the best versions of this show I have seen.

Director ANDY MCGOWAN and Musical Director SIMON PEARCE brought out some excellent performances from these young people. This was a relatively small cast by Young NOMADS’ standards, but they weren’t small on talent by any means. Congratulations to all involved and thank you for a really fun evening at the theatre.

Julie Petrucci

Regional Representative NODA East District Four South