Young performers rise to a giant challenge in a musical which takes the best elements of a far-fetched B-movie and marries them to Sixties-style songs.
Little Shop of Horrors stretches the youth section of Bolsover Drama Group with its quirky characterisations and demanding vocal score.
The cast bring to life the squalor and depression of living and working in the dead-end environment where down and outs litter the streets of Skid Row and time hangs heavy for bored employees as indicated by the sound of a ticking clock.
Connor Brown give s a convincing portrayal of the nerdy, awkward shop assistant Seymour who has a passion for plants and unrequited love for his glamorous colleague. His adherence to the shy character’s traits is sustained throughout.
Connor was at his best vocally in the duet Suddenly Seymour, sung with leading lady Charlotte Blunt, at the opening performance in The Bolsover School last night (Wednesday, July 15).
Charlotte is cast as the glamorous and vulnerable Audrey whose job helps her to escape the clutches of her violent boyfriend. She puts heart and soul into the show, particularly in one of musical theatre’s best songs Somewhere That’s Green which was beautifully sung last night.
Daniel Beard has viewers chuckling and squirming as he inhabits the character of Audrey’s cruel boyfriend Orin, the dentist hooked on giggle gas who wields a very loud drill.
Joe Baguley brings the aah-factor to the show as the tiny shopkeeper Mushnik with a big number of lines to remember which he did with no prompting on opening night.
Doo-wop songs add to the show’s charm, performed by a well-drilled troupe of Cora Maxfield, Chloe Hughes, Katie Watkins, Madeleine Sutton and Grace Randall who pop up as if by magic behind the window of the florist’s shop.
The blood-sucking plant around which the whole show revolves comes close to upstaging the performers. It’s the most spectacular one that I’ve seen - and I’ve seen quite a few productions of this musical. From a glove puppet with a sense of humour, ithe plant grows into a massive man-eating monster with four eyes, human-trapping tendrils and Callum Priest’s booming voice.
This production is directed by Donna Knowles, produced by Wendy Blunt, its musical director is Donna Shearwood and choreographer is Lisa Brunt.
Little Shop of Horrors continues its run at Bolsover School tonight (Thursday, July 16), tomorrow and Saturday at 7.15pm with a Saturday matinee at 2.15pm.