• Greg Taylor and Robyn Hendry

    Greg Taylor and Robyn Hendry

  • Andrew Byrne and Jodie Shepherd

    Andrew Byrne and Jodie Shepherd

  • Irma Glassford

    Irma Glassford

  • Latsamy Phommaseisy and Teresa Gilica

    Latsamy Phommaseisy and Teresa Gilica

  • David Lawrence and Ulrike Schumann

    David Lawrence and Ulrike Schumann

  • Emily Sykes, Alison Beasley and Keren Nicholson

    Emily Sykes, Alison Beasley and Keren Nicholson

  • Gina Poulakis and Andrew Stamiris

    Gina Poulakis and Andrew Stamiris

  • Lachlan Watt, Sunny Lasionek, Lorraine Rae and Mick Bayley

    Lachlan Watt, Sunny Lasionek, Lorraine Rae and Mick Bayley

Little Shop of Horrors @ The Canberra Theatre

26 May 2016

The Little Shop of Horrors looked decidedly diminutive on the Canberra Theatre Centre stage, and the surroundings less than Skid Rowish for the production but the black and white with many shades of grey colour palette was an effective beginning to this oldie but a goodie that pumps along with its 60’s music, memorable songs and a couple of powerful voices. The star of the show, the blood and flesh loving plant affectionately called Audrey II in honour of the love interest of its owner and feeder Seymour, is not the horticultural wonder plant you’d want in the back yard, but watching it evolve and grow was mesmerising.

Asking my colleague Jack Waterford for a description of the plant elicited an unprintable effort so imagine – or not – a vegetable version of a Jabba the Hut, an octopus with a scrotum like protuberance dangling beneath his head and tentacles to trip and tangle with. Or maybe even that blue vision that was Pavarotti in his farewell concert in Sydney and the fabric flounces that disguised a tired tenor unable to command the stage in a vertical position. All not necessarily like our plant but all overwhelming the space and place they inhabited. But our plant that grew and grew, was no beanstalk reaching for the sky but one that had to squat and spread inside the confines of the space.

But we loved the Audrey II despite being the ghastly blood and flesh eating thing with a voracious appetite and demanding voice to “feed me Seymour”. How well we know that call from so many amateur productions of this favourite little horror story and despite the opportunities of the big stage at The Canberra Theatre the transfer from the Sydney Hayes Theatre impacted on the set and the sound. Hard to hear, difficult to understand and the band that was somewhere out the back could have been a recording.

The cast worked it well and the colourful second half where the monster gets his just desserts and some lip smacking feasts along the way was a triumph for this small cast struggling with sound problems, but all so professional and looking good.