Outstanding performances were given by a trio of Linton Village College (LVC) students in their recent performance of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’.
The comedy-come-rock-horror musical tells the gruesome tale of a carnivorous plant with an unusual diet – human flesh and blood.
When Seymour (Tom Murray), a naïve young botanist, finds the plant after a mysterious solar eclipse, he names it ‘Audrey 2’ after his beautiful co-worker at cranky Mr Mushnik’s (Thomas d’Costa) florist’s shop.
Seymour stumbles across the plant’s undesirable eating habits when he accidentally pricks his finger on a rose, but instead of destroying the dangerous plant, he begins to sustain it with his own blood.
Secretly in love with the original Audrey (Tamzin Kerslake), Seymour is angry to discover that her dentist boyfriend Orin (Tom Howard) is abusing her.
When Audrey 2 begins to speak, demanding ‘Feed me, Seymour’ (voice by Zoe Reyes), it seems only rational to kill Orin and feed him to the plant.
Throughout the show the acting was excellent – at times horrifying, at others hilarious.
A particularly funny scene was Mr Mushnik trying to persuade Seymour to become his adopted son as Seymour dodged under his arms, looking disturbed.
The scene in Orin’s dental surgery built tension as patients went in and came out screaming.
It was also particularly effective when the paupers of Skid Row came down the stage steps and reached into the audience.
The orchestra, made up of students and teachers, provided a strong accompaniment to the well-known songs.
The chorus singers worked well together, and individually gave it their all.
The solos were sung so passionately that I was enraptured and believed every word.
The ‘Dentist Song’ was dark and dangerous, while Audrey and Seymour’s duet ‘Suddenly Seymour’ was moving and sweet.
The plant’s song ‘Feed Me’ was fabulous, sung with style and a great range of tone.
The doo-wop girls, the show’s narrators, made a great team – their harmonies were tight and they seemed to have a lot of fun.
The set, designed by the art department, was creative and beautifully made.
I was impressed with how the stage could be transformed into an impoverished street, a dentist’s surgery or a florist’s shop with an upturned crate, a screen or a bunch of flowers.
The growth of Audrey 2 was shown with four different plant models, ranging from hand puppet to roof-scraping height.
Each one moved realistically, and credit must go to the puppeteers and actors inside.
The use of these fantastic models caused a great deal of amusement in the audience and really added to the performance.
Overall, I very much enjoyed watching this fabulous production and would like to congratulate all those involved in achieving such a professional performance.
For all the latest news see Thursday’s (April 3) Echo.