Little Shop of Horrors

Little Shop of Horrors - Promotional Trailer

Catch a sneak preview of the show and the cast in action for Little Shop of Horrors. Fantastic songs evoking the era of Motown, rock ‘n’ roll and doo-wop!

A delicious parody of old horror movies! A giant man-eating Venus flytrap taking over the stage before your eyes...

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In rehearsal with 'The Baddies' for Little Shop of Horrors

BATS returns to the Haymarket later this month with one of Broadway’s favourite musicals, ‘Little Shop of Horrors’. The show features great 1960’s style songs and a story that pastiches old-style horror movies. Downtrodden shop assistant, Seymour Krelborn finds a strange exotic plant during a solar eclipse. When the plant begins to speak and demands to be fed, Seymour enters into a terrible pact which he believes will win him true love. But not one, but three baddies stand in his way, pictured from left to right - Joe Humberstone, Ian 'Spud' Smith and Anthony Mitchell.

Joe Humberstone, Ian 'Spud' Smith and Anthony Mitchell in rehearsal
Joe Humberstone, Ian 'Spud' Smith and Anthony Mitchell in rehearsal

Anthony Mitchell plays Seymour’s boss, the bitter flower shop owner Mr Mushnik. “He took Seymour under his wing and gave him a home, but he never made anything of his own life,” explains Anthony. “Then he gets a chance to make a load of easy money by praying upon Seymour’s naivety. Of course, that ultimately becomes the route to his own come-uppance.”

2013 marks Anthony’s 30th year with BATS. “I’m so pleased to be doing Little Shop of Horrors” he says. “You’ll leave the theatre with a broad grin on your face, humming the catchy numbers – and wondering just what that huge weed in your garden really is!”

Ian ‘Spud’ Smith is another BATS stalwart – he’s providing the voice for the monstrous man-eating plant, Audrey 2, and has an apology for his neighbours. “My songs are very loud – when I rehearse at home I wonder what they think as they hear me chant “Feed Me Blood” at the top of my voice!”

Spud’s striking looks have often seen him cast in ‘baddie’ roles, like Bill Sikes in ‘Oliver!’ and Jud Fry in ‘Oklahoma!’ but he’s keen to stress he’s not always been a rotter – “I once played Wendy in Peter Pan!”

Spud confesses he’s been bowled over by the enthusiasm and dedication of the younger members of the cast. Among them, Joe Humberstone, who plays the sadistic dentist Orin Scrivello.

“He’s sarcastic and disturbing to watch,” says Joe of his character, who’s pretty nasty to his girlfriend Audrey and downright evil to hapless hero Seymour. But can any of these villains match up to the legendary Queen of Mean, who Joe faced on TV’s The Weakest Link? He admits he wilted under Anne Robinson’s fearsome glare. “I went out in the first round after getting a question wrong – doh!”

Six performances of Little Shop of Horrors run from Tues 14th – Sat 18th May at The Haymarket, Basingstoke.

In rehearsal with the Sha-bop Girls for Little Shop of Horrors

Pictured from left to right - Meet Ronette (Kirsty Bennett), Chiffon (Louise Gains) and Crystal (Jade Hollingshead). Their names conjure up memories of glamorous American girl groups from the early 1960s. That’s a big clue to the type of music this sassy trio will be performing in the BATS production of the Broadway musical Little Shop of Horrors at the Haymarket in May.

The Sha-bop Girls in rehearsal
The Sha-bop Girls in rehearsal

Played by Louise Gains, Kirsty Bennett and Jade Hollingshead, the Sha-bop Girls, as they’re called, provide some sweet 60’s sounds as the comedy/horror storyline unfolds.

“There are a lot of challenges,” says Jade. “Always singing in close harmony, getting the dance moves in sync together...” Kirsty agrees: “It’s the timing, moving exactly the same as the other girls.” For Louise it’s a bigger ask: “I have two left feet,” she admits, “it’s out of my comfort zone!” But other aspects of the character are easier to find: “The Sha-bop Girls are lively, streetwise and a bit cheeky – like me!”

The Sha-bop Girls pop in and out of the action as hapless shop assistant Seymour tries to keep the gruesome secret of his man-eating plant. Their sizzling songs offer a wry commentary as the plant grows to a massive size and aims for world domination.

Little Shop of Horrors is the first time the three girls have sung together, and they’re loving it. “It’s such an amazing group of people,” says Kirsty. “The show’s going to be brilliant!”

Aside from previous shows with BATS, Kirsty used to be a holiday camp entertainer and reached the final of Basingstoke’s Festival Factor singing competition. Louise has performed on the main stage of Basingstoke Live and been heard on Radio 1 Xtra. Jade has taken lead roles in ‘Hairspray’ and ‘Our House’ with BATS Next Gen.

“I’m looking forward to the craziness of costumes, lights, and seeing the whole show come together,” says Louise of the prospect of performing at The Haymarket. For Jade, it’s all about “making my friends and family proud, believing in myself, and not giving up on my dreams to be in the West End.” And what’s Kirsty most looking forward to? “Seeing the giant plant on stage!”

Six performances of Little Shop of Horrors run from Tues 14th – Sat 18th May at The Haymarket, Basingstoke.

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