Little Shop of Horrors review, May 2013 - Newbury Weekly News

BATS had a terrific cast all delivering great vocals with stylish and inventive direction and choreography from Nick Brannam.

Little Shop of Horrors is an entertaining hybrid that began life as a horror B move spoof from Roger Corman before morphing into an off-Broadway phenomenon and a later musical film, with an appealing mix of sci-fi weirdness and kitschy wacky humour. Accidentally drawn into a bizarre chain of events, Seymour Krelbourn gets the chance to take over the world of floristry, get rich and get the girl and dispose of his enemy by feeding him to his increasingly hungry plant on the way.

As Seymour, Ian Moseley charmingly captured the nerdy quality that audiences have come to expect from the character. He was easily persuaded to do the awful things needed to keep the plant alive because he finally got positive attention from his boss and the girl of his dreams as Audrey II thrived. Laura Newborough as Audrey, the blonde, bimbo, bombshell that Seymour adored, perfectly expressed the eager-to-please vulnerability of an abuse victim.

Joe Humberstone hilariously portrayed Orin Scrivello, Audrey's strangely maniacal, sadistic motorcycle dentist boyfriend and Anthony Mitchell’s Mr. Mushnik, the beleaguered owner of the flower shop and Seymour's boss was delightfully amusing as he came to grips with his new found fortune.

Effectively providing the voice of Audrey II, Ian ‘Spud’ Smith earned many laughs with his witty one-liners and the impressive plant was excellently manipulated by its operators. With their Phil Spector harmonies and girl-group charm, Ronette (Kirsty Bennett) Chiffon (Louise Gains) and Crystal (Jade Hollingshead) performed with a gutsy energy, nailing their harmonies impressively.

The ensemble cast were well and creatively used to beef up the show to make it spectacular and the set and lighting was spot on. First class musical direction was supplied by Rachel Glover and there was fine accompaniment from the band.

Killing off your two most likable characters is a deflating way to finish a musical, but a rousing zombie encore by the BATS company won back our favour. This was a hugely entertaining quality production with BATS in tip top form.

Trevor Dobson

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