The mean green mother from outer space landed at Venue Cymru in Little Shop of Horrors, the story of a florist, the love of his life, a sadistic dentist and a carnivorous plant that is a pure scene stealer.
First of all, let me say that I’m a fan of the movies of Little Shop of Horrors, loved the black & white movie from the 1960s directed by Roger Corman, but the 1986 movie which was based on the musical from 1982 which in turn was based on the Roger Corman movie.
I’ve always wanted to see the stage musical of Little Shop of Horrors so when the news came in that Venue Cymru would be having the show, I couldn’t turn down the chance of seeing the show live and to see if anyone was as good as Steve Martin in the part of Orin the Dentist.
Little Shop of Horrors Brings Skid Row to Llandudno
OK folks, first of all, let’s talk about the stage design, it is brilliantly done, it looks fantastic with Mushniks florist centre stage and the dentist to the left and the music box to the right, this is where the live band were hidden from view.
The lighting of the stage works extremely well bringing the stage to life and also bringing Skid Row to Venue Cymru, a nice feature was to the right of the stage with a “news board” that updates through the show with headlines of what is happening in the show.
The stage musical of Little Shop of Horrors is just as I imagined it would be, all wonderfully performed by a very talented cast, Sam Lupton is great as Seymour the florist’s assistant that discovers “Audrey II”, think of a less squeaky voiced Rick Moranis and you have a perfectly cast Seymour.
Stephanie Clift, who plays Audrey, is very similar to Audrey as played by Ellen Greene in the 1986 movie, Stephanie works well with the slight Brooklyn accent, but she really shines when she performs the track, “Somewhere That’s Green”, which is one of my favourite tracks from the musical.
Mr Mushnik, played by Paul Kissaun, is a character that stands on his own, Paul brings Mushnik to life on the stage, his performance was a joy to watch.
OK, so the one part I was looking forward to seeing was Rhydian Roberts as Orin, a part that was played brilliantly by Steve Martin in the 1986 movie and a character which you just love to hate. Who doesn’t start singing to “Dentist!” and adding the emphasis on the line “You have a talent for causing things pain”, you know you do folks.
I’ve seen Rhydian perform a few times, most recently when I was photographing him at Coast 2 Coast, but I wasn’t sure how he would be as The Dentist, I needn’t have worried.
He brought Orin to life with his own touch, but still keeping it very much as I hoped the character would be, a slightly more vocal version of Steve Martin’s take on the character. Rhydian gives Orin a crazed laugh and certainly brings that love/hate side of the character to the stage.
Thank you Rhydian for not letting me down with your portrayal of a slightly sadistic dentist and I also loved the other characters that he popped up as, but I’m not going to say much about them, you’ll have to see the show to find out about those.
Let’s not forget Crystal (Sasha Latoya), Chiffon (Venessa Fisher) and Ronette (Cassie Claire), the three singers that inter-connect scenes with their brilliant musical pieces and interaction. They were fantastic and their musical numbers certainly a joy to listen to.
Little Shop of Horrors – The Mean Green Mother from Outer Space
So dear readers, that leaves with one more character, the intergalactic star of the show, the one, the only, mean green mother from outer space, Audrey II. What can I say, but WOW!
I’ve heard how amazing Audrey II is on the stage, but I didn’t think that the large carnivorous plant could be as animated as the one in Frank Oz’s 1986 movie, boy was I wrong! Josh Wilmott, the puppeteer for Audrey II did an amazing job, the subtle movements, lip syncing with the songs and, wait for it, the eating of people!
If anything could spoil a show like Little Shop of Horrors then it would be Audrey II, but suffice to say, that the plant was out of this world (excuse the pun), strange as it may sound at one point I even forgot that it was a puppet, yes it was that good.
Little Shop of Horrors at Venue Cymru
This is a show that you really don’t want to miss, if you’re a fan of the movie (the 1960 or 1986 version) then you’ll want to see this. If you love comedy musicals, go see it. It’s not very often that I rave about something, but I’m raving about this, Little Shop of Horrors at Venue Cymru is a top show, it’s well performed, funny, crazy, sad and it has a giant carnivorous plant, seriously folks what more could you ask for.
Little Shop of Horrors is on at Venue Cymru until the 20th Aug, my advice is, BOOK NOW and go see the show.