YOUNG ARCADIANS “LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS” 17/2/17
Director: David Walker MD: Heather Kynnersley
Choreographers: Lucy Walker & Emily Vivian
St Christopher School Theatre, Letchworth
Firstly, my thanks to Roger and the Society for their hospitality, John and I were made to feel most welcome.
Little Shop of Horrors is a fun show – and this was borne out by the enthusiasm of the young cast.
The set was fairly standard for Little Shop – and worked well, despite the lack of space for the full-sized Audrey II – however, the cast managed to work well within the confines of the shop set, using the front of the stage for Company action. Props were mainly good – however the red roses caused great hilarity in the audience, as there were not enough, and they looked a bit wilted!!
Costumes were good throughout and suitable for the cast members.
The Prologue was great, the Skidettes performed extremely well, and did so throughout with plenty of energy and good harmonies. I particularly liked the choreography for their numbers, as the poses and moves were related but not regimented, which created loads of interest. The blonde young lady (I think it was Laura Gregory) had a very strong voice and outstanding performance skills, but she mostly managed to temper those to blend well with the other young ladies.
The Company did well in their first number, and achieved some good harmonies. The diversity of ages were catered for well in the movement required.
I was very impressed with Freddy Goldscheider as Seymour, he had great assurance in his portrayal, showing a good singing voice and lovely rapport with Audrey, who was nicely played by Charlotte Fowden.
In two places the characters were required to slap another character, and in both cases (Orin to Audrey and Audrey to Seymour) the slaps needed much more intent and emphasis, as they were both very tentative and somewhat lost.
Daniel Barnicott created a good Mr Mushnik, I liked his accent, but was a little perturbed by his hands – they helped to give him character, but were perhaps a little over-exaggerated.
Orin was played by Fred McConnell Smith, and he definitely had the basis of the rather nasty person, but needed to lift it for believability, and contrast to the other males. Unfortunately during the Seymour/Orin number we were unable to hear Seymour for most of the time.
I loved the way Ellis Jackson voiced Audrey II, he really created the evil intent, with Wayne Skelton-Hough manipulating the model extremely well.
In the Meek Shall Inherit I thought the groupings were very well achieved, and the three leaders, Thomas Williams as Bernstein, Dan Townsend as Skip Snip and Izzy Everitt as Mrs Luce all created strong portrayals and led their groups well. Izzy particularly impressed me with her attention to detail. Seymour was also great in this number.
Suddenly Seymour, the opening of Act 2 certainly pulled the audience back in after the interval.
I loved the Skidettes finale costumes, very imaginative and suitable, they managed to be both elegant but in keeping with young ladies! With the other cast finale costumes being colourful and fun.
I felt that even the smallest of the young people involved had really worked on their characters, and matched the older more experienced performers in what was a very interesting and strong production.
Reviewed by Nova Horley for Vicki Avery