Musical, Paradise in St Augustine’s, Venue 152, 21:15 until 30th August.
EUSOG put on a real treat of a show with their adaption of Little Shop of Horrors, updating the plot of the eighties musical whilst staying true to its character. Meek botanist Seymour discovers a bloodthirsty plant, helping him win fame, fortune and the leading lady’s affections, while simultaneously developing a ruthlessness that matches his cannibalistic money-spinning plant. The dark comedy of the characters’ situations within the tale also unveil a moral side to the story, which is typical of American horror – it’s a Grimm-esque reminder of the evils of greed and unfettered ambition.
So, perhaps the dance sequences might err a little on the cheesy side, and the storyline a bit old hat for the Fringe – but that’s kind of the point. It’s got a Rocky Horror air about it. You don’t go to a show like this to be challenged, you go because it’s fun. With three energetic muse-like songstresses leading the audience through each scene transition, and into the next catchy musical number, it makes for a smooth production overall. With very little set to ferry about the stage, there were no awkward breaks between scenes to set the next one up.
The production as a whole was well-designed. Each actor suited their role, with every member of the cast at points showing some real talent. A mention also needs to be saved for the band and for the technicians. The music and lighting was what made an unmoved set go from creepy to jovial in an instant, and allowed the audience emotionally engaged in the characters’ stories.
Bringing it all together is the design (and execution) of the homicidal plant, Audrey II. Creepy, entertaining, and simple – as the visual centrepiece of the whole performance, both prop and human parts worked seamlessly together to stunning effect. This is a production well deserving of the (partially) standing ovation it received on its debut night.
Image courtesy of EUSOG’s Little Shop of Horrors facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/eusoglittleshop