Little Shop of Horrors, University Drama Studio
Life can be a real drag if you live in Skid Row.
Criminals operate on every corner, tramps sleep in rotting dumpsters, girls strut around in three inch skirts and the chances of escaping it all seem very slim. Seymour Krelborn (played by Joe Barry) dreams of a world far away, where he and his timid co-worker Audrey (Kirsten Moore) live in suburban bliss. But his boss, florist owner Mr. Mushnik (Ash McDowell), is intent on keeping him down, if only so to ensure he has a slave at his beck and call.
Then one day, Seymour buys an exotic-looking plant, which he hopes will help drum up some much needed business. Little does he realise, but through cultivating the plant (named the Audre II in honour of his secret love) he inadvertently sows the seeds of his demise.
Little Shop of Horrors is the American Dream gone wrong; penniless man buys strange plant, feeds it people until it grows to ten times its size, attracts fame and fortune as a result, then faces life in prison. It’s hardly the stuff of a classic Hollywood blockbuster. Yet the original 1960s film has been reworked several times for both screen and stage, making audiences laugh for over 50 years.
The students from SHUDS certainly did the story justice. Barry and Moore had great chemistry on stage, whilst Danny Beattie stole the show as Audre’s nasty boyfriend, the sadistic motorcycle dentist. Matt Bond also deserves a mention for his brilliant characterisation of Audre II.
Who knew a musical about a carnivorous plant could be so funny?