Review: Big characters and big voices in Loft’s devilish musical hit

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Little Shop of Horrors, Loft Theatre, Leamington Until Saturday, December 12.

A bloodthirsty plant, sadistic dentist and sing-along American backstreet earnt rousing applause on Wednesday night; and it’s clear to see why.

Little Shop was everything I always hope for from am-dram musicals, but what they nearly always fail to be.

It’s enthralling, it’s twee and it’s fun but nothing about the Loft’s Little Shop is clichéd or overworked.

In short, it was a great performance from a great cast.

Based on a low-budget 1960 black comedy, the science fiction spoof tells the story of Seymor (Chris Gilbey-Smith) who grows Audrey 2, a plant with a thirst for blood who helps him get the girl of his dreams Audrey (Nikki Cross) and achieve the fame and fortune he has never had.

American accents, comedy, horror and spoof – there’s a lot of potential for an awkward amateur performance.

But what the cast of 17 delivered was a clear cut above, and all down to mesmerising personalities on stage and wonderful voices.

Largest of all – of course – from Audrey 2 (Pete Bucknall) who stole the show from behind the scenes with his wonderfully devilish presence.

Among the obvious main cast, mention is needed for street girl trio, Crystal and Chiffon and Ronnette (Amy Barrett) who were fantastic from the off. Strong harmonies and pulling it all together as a real musical stage show.

It is a far cry from your average sing-along love story and the cast was nowhere near character stereotypes or fumbled, forced lines.

Little Shop delivered big personalities, big voices and big laughs from the off.

I’ve seen less stage presence in professional companies and don’t have a bad word to say about the Loft’s latest musical efforts.

Review by Hannah Smith

Box office: 0844 493 4938