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REVIEW: Little Shop of Horrors (Talisman Theatre)

The Talisman’s Little Shop of Horrors is a burst of an energetic flamboyant romp

Directed by Stephen Duckham with a wonderful eye for detail, the cast deliver rock-and-roll and Motown style songs with aplomb right from the start. Chorus girls Ronnette (Kerry Hazlewood), Crystal (Kelly Davidson) and Chiffon (Kelsey Checklin) set the tone for the entire show. They are bang on cue, high energy and look like real all-American-gals.

The musicians gave their all from somewhere back stage and were ably directed by Rosemary Gower. Impressively the entire cast retained their American accents not only when speaking but also when singing - not an easy thing to do.

Nikki Cross made an impressive debut at the Talisman, with her take on Audrey, the blonde ‘tart with a heart’ playing her with a Marilyn Monroe type vulnerability.

Des McCann gave us a marvellously geeky Seymour - not unlike Superman’s alter ego Clark Kent. As the love sick florist who cultivates a carnivorous plant which, in return for blood, will make his wishes come true, Seymour finds money, love, celebrity status come easily - but at a price.

David Pinner’s Orin, Audrey’s sadistic leather jacket clad dentist boyfriend, is quite hilarious and has some of the funniest scenes in the play. His character is a stark contrast to Mr Mushnik, the owner of the flower shop, played by Steve Smith. Smith retains an air of authority on stage right until his ‘disappearance’. Mr Mushnik, Orin and Audrey create a harmonious blend of humour and pathos and they deliver magic and chemistry.

John Ellam’s clever set allows us to see inside and outside of the shop as well as the street life on skid row.

Audrey II appears first as a wimpy potted plant but ends as a full stage monster with an enormous Venus Flytrap red mouth and sprawling tentacle-like branches-almost extending to the auditorium.

Audrey II is expertly operated by Ryan Howkins who appeared at the finale looking very red faced and sweaty. Her voice is deep and vibrant thanks to Nick Doughlin.

The lighting, the sound effects, and props all combine here to make the Talisman’s Little Shop of Horrors a fabulous evening for kids and grans alike. A triumph in every way.

Monica Troughton, Kenilworth Weekly News

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