Was performed at
GRAYSHOTT VILLAGE HALL

19th to 22nd November 1997

Cast:

Audrey : Sally Wooding
Seymour : Tony Creasey
Mushnik : Richard Tytler
Orin : Alex Herd
The Voice : Andrew Boughton
Chiffon : Lisa Siddle
Crystal : Heather Parker
Ronette : Jo Boughton
Puppeteer : Malcolm Dobson
 
Director : Heather Legat
Musical Director : Frances Tull

The following is the review printed in the Haslemere Herald on 28th November 1997

Grayshott Stagers hit new heights in
"Little Shop of Horrors"
Seymour Krelbourne (played by Tony Creasey) is a down-trodden assistant in a run-down flower shop on Skid Row run by Mr Mushnik (Richard Tytler).

His one consolation in life is his love for Mushnik's blonde assistant Audrey (Sally Wooding), though this goes unrequited as she is in the clutches of a sadistic, leather-jacketed, motor-cycling dentist, Orin (Alex Herd - a man of many parts in this play, though it goes unrecorded in the programme).

The whole situation is "observed" by three street urchins, Ronnette (Jo Boughton), Crystal (Heather Parker),and Chiffon (Lisa Siddle), who act as a musical chorus of commentators throughout the play.

Mushnik wants to shut down the shop due to lack of trade, but Seymour remembers a strange plant which somebody had given him after a recent total eclipse of the sun, and brings it from the store room.

It immediately attracts custom, and saves the shop - but when Seymour pricks his finger, he discovers that it has a hankering after blood - and only fresh human blood will do!

In successive scenes the plant grows larger, until it fills a corner of the shop. Not only that, but it talks (and sings) and makes demands for food. This gives Seymour the opportunity to dispose neatly of his rival in love, Orin the dentist who conveniently gasses himself with is own nitrous oxide - and his remains are fed to the plant. Mushnik discovers this, and has to be disposed of in the same way.

>Then, just when Seymour thinks he has it made with Audrey, she wanders to close to the plant herself - it grabs her, wounds her, and she dies in Seymour's arms. Her body follows the others into the plant's gaping maw, and Seymour, machete in hand, leaps after her hoping to destroy the gloating vegetable once and for all.

But he fails, and is devoured in turn - the monster wins the day, and when we see the chorus taking cuttings of it to propagate the species throughout the world, we realise the human race is doomed. To emphasis the point, as the show ends, tendrils drop form the auditorium roof threatening to ensnare us, the audience.

The stage setting, with brick shop-front rolling up to reveal the shop interior, worked well, thanks to the artistic and constructional skills of the back-stage members, and a special commendation should be offered to Malcolm Dobson who operated the gigantic plant, literally harnessed inside - I saw it after the show, felt the weight, and can vouch that this was no mean feat! No wonder that the voice of the plant is performed by a separate actor, in this case Andrew Boughton.

The play is a musical, and the musicians, directed by Frances Tull, gave an upbeat performance which complemented the singing of the cast - an important feature of the entertainment.

Finally, and by no means least, all credit to the director of the show, Heather Legat, who must be very pleased with the outcome of all her endeavours.

I find it difficult to fault Grayshott Stagers at the moment. They can sing, they can dance, they have actors with stage presence, they choose scripts which audiences find accessible, and all this is supported by successful back-stage and publicity work. My two companions, not given to easy praise in matters theatrical, thought it was the best show they had seen, amateur or professional, for a long time.

As for me - I'm glad that the Stagers choose not to put on Pantomimes - the competition could prove too severe!

Jo Smith

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