Books & Lyrics by Howard Ashman
Music by Alan Menken
Based upon the film by Roger Corman
NODA Review by Frank Wooles
Musical theatre takes many strange forms but few can be more unusual than this, based on a man-eating plant with ambitions of world-domination. This "strange and unusual plant" took root on the stage of the Paget Rooms, Penarth, in September in a cheery and nicely "over the top" production by Mark Hughes which gave us a wealth of colourful broad characters and a lot of uneasy fun. A well defined and accented performance by Chris Chedzey as the Czechoslovakian Mr Mushnik, proprietor of the Skid Row florists with a charismatic Adam Parsons as his hapless and insignificant assistant, Seymour, who finds fames through his nurturing of the plant, named Audrey II. Catherine Harris as his fellow assistant and secret love, Audrey, was suitably gauche and delightfully cookie and touchingly sang the number "Somewhere that's Green" and, with Seymour, the duet "Suddenly Seymour". Orin, the sadistic dentist and brutalising boy-friend of Audrey, played by Adam Pitt, instilled enough terror to make us anxious about our next dental appointment and quite relieved when he became the first on the menu of the bloodthirsty plant. The attractive backing group of Ronette (Lorna Jones), Chiffon (Ceri Hearn) and Crystal (Rhiannon Rose) have a considerable part to playing the show and well sung and moved the linking and backing to numbers together with good individual performance. The all important monster-muncher was skilfully manipulated by Michael O'Leary and given fine voice by Mark Hughes with other support roles played well to make this an even and balanced cast. The production was nicely backed by a good sounding five-piece band under the direction of Martyn Hearn and , unusually, located in the balcony - an idea that worked well. Together with good costumes (Leigh Tomala) and with a simple basic staging by the company it was a good evening of comic horror but has made me deeply apprehensive of my latest strange and mysterious house plant.
This review originally was published in Spring 2001