Any “horror comedy rock musical” starring Alan Committie is going to be rather heavier on the comedy than on the horror, not least when one of his co-stars – a man-eating plant named ‘Audrey II’ – is a giant spongy puppet.
This production takes spoof and places it firmly in the arena of slapstick, but this is an arena in which Committie is a master.
Set in a struggling flower shop on Skid Row, Little Shop of Horrors follows the story of Seymour Krelborn, a young and timid employee, who innocently discovers the flesh-and-blood-feasting plant that brings both success and calamity to his life.
Committie’s portrayal of the accident-prone Seymour has the audience laughing throughout. This is Committie’s first lead in a musical, and not without reason… happily what his singing voice lacks is more than made up for by the strength of his stage presence and impeccable comic timing.
Seymour’s sweet but tacky love-interest Audrey is amusingly executed by Candice van Litsenborgh, who plays her as a squeaky-voiced character, masterfully transformed into a booming-voiced diva as she begins to sing.
Michael Richard makes for a beefy Mr Mushnik, with a pleasant voice and well-executed American accent. Zak Hendrikz is brilliantly sadistic as Seymour’s love-rival Orin. And the trio of urchin girls set the tone for each scene, maintaining a dynamic facet to the play with their enchanting dancing and singing.
Director Steven Stead has created a successfully simple but wonderfully comic rendering of this cult classic musical, providing a delightfully amusing night out at Theatre on the Bay. Any shrieks from this horror will be shrieks of laughter.
The Little Shop of Horrors runs at Theatre on the Bay until the 6 June 2015.