Little Shop of Horrors makes many people’s “favourite show” list, with its near-perfect script, stunning music and a truly iconic plant.
It’s also Five Towns Theatre’s latest offering at the Rep, Stoke-on-Trent.
A beautiful set makes full use of the stage including a revolve, which works incredibly well as the set moves around to form the inside or the outside of Mushnik’s flower shop. This made the transition between scenes absolutely seamless and almost magical actually – as the action continued whilst the set was moving.
Sometimes things don’t always go to plan and you need someone who can think quickly and stay in character. Kloee Tomkinson was that for this group last night, forming part of the sassy ladies who narrate the action – this time a group of four, with many four part harmonies. There are some excellent vocalists in this group and Abby Evans, Kloee Tomkinson, Katy Ernest and Hollie Burnett were the epitome of this with their powerful vocals.
Seymour (played extremely well by James Hart) was lovable, shy and nervy, whilst his Audrey (Danii Millward) was strong in her characterisation. Both were extremely impressive. But you can’t have this show without two other very important characters – Christian Stewart captured the character of Mushnik very well, whilst the extremely likeable Tim Cooper has the hardest job of the show, making a large and impressive plant talk, move and well… do anything it wants!
Orin (Joe Unyolo) was very entertaining as everyone’s favourite Semi-Sadist Dentist.
Supporting roles and company worked very well and are used cleverly. For example in “Call Back In The Morning”, the cast are creating the illusion of a busy shop – rather than just busy telephone lines. Crowds walk past the outside of the shop and other details are carefully considered. This is what raises the level of a production and Directors Keith Ragdale and James Dawe have put together a very tight production – assisted by Producer/Choreographer Ed Costello.
Five Towns Theatre are a well established amateur theatre group in Stoke-on-Trent that have consistently worked with the community to produce a high level of productions for an impressive 15 years. Based on their current form, they will be entertaining the people of Stoke for another 15 and beyond.