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BWW Review: LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS at Regal Theatre

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Cult classic enchants fans and wins new ones at the Regal.

BWW Review: LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS at Regal Theatre

Part of Entertaind Production's ethos is minimalism in their settings, which seems to lend itself perfectly to LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS. Whilst the setting may have been a bit bare (though one would hardly say Skid Row is underdone), Entertaind's production of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS wants for nothing more, with a minimal set made up for by a passionate and talented cast and crew.

Starring as Seymour is Mark Retzlaff, who plays the part perfectly. Retzlaff conveys Seymour's caring side, whilst bringing his internal conflict between success and morals well, all whilst bringing the humour that underpins the show. Opposite Retzlaff as Audrey is Melissa Gall. Gall has had a busy 2021 and it's not hard to see why. She seems a perfect choice for the exaggerated yet loveable Audrey. Gall manages to not overdo it, whilst singing perfectly and showing excellent comic timing between the protagonist couple.

As Mr Mushnik is Jamie Mercanti in yet another brilliant performance from the Perthonality. Mercanti has perfect timing as always whilst bringing the personality needed for the part. Matthew Walford made a perfectly unlikeable dentist Orin, with excellent singing, not to mention a comic performance that harks to Steve Martin's portrayal in the 1986 movie whilst remaining thoroughly Walford's own. The urchins, who set and layer every scene with their vocals, hit their marks perfectly. Crystal Heo, Samantha Jones, and Priscilla Le brought the vocal power needed for the difficult part, with the urchins being characters in their own right as well as narrators and the chorus line.

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS is likely most well know for the plant, Audrey II. The everchanging plant in this is perfectly animated, to the point one wonders how puppeteer Kera Phillips does it. The puppet is a key part of the show and really needs to be seen to be believed, and anyone interested in puppets or interesting props, or simply standout settings will find themselves entertained by the dynamic centre-piece that nearly fills the stage at the end.

Whilst plenty can be said for Scott-Leonard Landers as the director of the show, and as the voice of the plant, he truly comes to the fore as the musical director. The relatively small orchestra of ten made the well-known and loved soundtrack as powerful as it needed to be. The original music was written by Alan Menken just before he joined Disney and kickstarted the animation Renaissance in the early 90s. Anyone familiar with the musical or movie can barely help but smile as the first few bars go up from this talented group.

If you are a fan of the musical or movie, then LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS is a must see, however if you haven't seen it before (or if you don't necessarily count yourself as a fan) then it's worth doing anyway. Going easy on the set doesn't stop the cast and crew giving a lot of care, love, and talent to the show. The visuals are still amazing and the singing and acting throughout is excellent.

Entertaind's LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS scores a solid four out of five carnivorous plants.

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS is at the Regal Theatre until November 27. Tickets and more info through Ticketek.


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