Little Shop of Horrors: It’s far from horrible


Little Shop of Horrors | His Majesty’s Theatre | Until 14 August | ★★★★½

Little Shop of Horrors

It’s the tale of Seymour, a young guy who works in a flower shop with a crush on his co-worker Audrey.

He buys an obscure plant which he names after the object of his affection.

The carnivorous plant has a huge appetite which leads Seymour down a path of having to constantly find dinner for his gardening project, and it’s all told with song, dance and puppetry.

Lauchlan Edward Bain checked out ‘Little Shop of Horrors’.

Growing up, everyone knew of the musical “Little Shop of Horrors” and to this day, it’s obvious why the film’s cult status continues to persevere. As my companion and I entered the theatre for the opening night of the Perth season, we were immediately, and thankfully, taken into the world that was to be created by what can only be described as a modest set, and a clever use of audio-visual effects – a modern day essential for touring Australian productions.

The show opened and revealed the full set, which was an obscure abstracted reality, much like the subject matter that is presented throughout the show. The set and costumes through out were living and breathing characters in themselves, the intention to bring the nuances of living and dead was an inspired decision of the designers (Owen Phillips and Tim Chappel, respectively).

It has to be said, that Lee Lin Chin’s cameo as the news presenter was a brilliant highlight, a camp nod to the obscure journey we were about to go on.

First to walk on stage were the Urchins dressed in grey-scale sepia toned costume and make up. The Urchins (Angelique Cassimatis, Josie Lane & Chloe Zuel) were powerhouses, and owned the opening of the show, commanding the audiences’ attention with ease and the sass you would expect of the characters.



The dentist (Scott Johnson) was, in my opinion, the star of the show. Both vocally and physically hilarious, he was born to play this role and the casting was a revelation. Audrey (Esther Hannaford) was vulnerable and her affectations were delicious. She walked on the knife-edge of too much, but holding back just enough to keep the audience laughing.

As the second act opened, the set and costumes transformed just like Dorothy travelling through the tornado into a Technicolor wonderland. The stage zinged with colour, even if it did lack the same polish and pizazz of the first. I did enjoy the grey scale reality of the first act coming to fruition, perpetuating the savage undercurrent of the vivid colorful world as we came closer towards the finale of the show.

Lighting design (Ross Graham) was a little obscure at times; perhaps a reflection of a contemporary design in a theatre that wasn’t able to deliver on the end product, another reason so few shows brave the journey westwards. Sound wise there were a few moments of poor blending and acoustically there were some quiet moments, one can only assume are teething problems that come from being in a new theatre with a quick bump in, as these were few and far between.

Overall, for an independent touring production it had the slick and polish you would expect from a season that has toured for this long. This is a show you must not miss. See it before it must close on August 14th.

Little Shop Of Horrors, presented by Luckiest Productions and Tinderbox Productions is playing at His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth until 14 August. Tickets available through Ticketek.

Lauchlan Edward Bain, images: Leigh Hill

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