Skip to main content

Little Shop of Horrors


Pitlochry Festival Theatre
3 stars
 From Rocky Horror to Forbidden Planet, sci-fi B movies and rock and 
roll nostalgia have been all the rage for now. Howard Ashman and Alan 
Menken's 1982 stage musical even has the parallel universe luxury of 
being both inspired by one such feature film only to be adapted into 
another. Based on Roger Corman's 1960 yarn about a blood-sucking plant 
who eats up a Skid Row flower shop, Little Shop of Horrors isn't the 
obvious choice to open Pitlochry Festival Theatre's Summer Rep season. 
Nor, in John Durnin's production, does it fully spark into the sort of 
big campy life required to make it such a ridiculous pleasure, even as 
it tackles how greed and money corrupt in a dog eat dog – or rather, 
plant eats man – world.

It's not without its charms, however, from the moment the girl group 
turned Greek/Brechtian chorus shimmy out of Mushnik's recession-hit 
store, to the alien plant's devouring of everything in sight. Jo Freer 
as Ronnette (her partners in song are called Chiffon and Crystal) is 
especially sassy. The co-relation between poverty and shop-girl 
Audrey's abusive relationship with slicked-back dentist Orin suggests 
something beyond cartoon capers, even as Kate Quinnell skirts a thin 
line between pathos and comic timing as Audrey.

As has become a tradition in Pitlochry musicals, all of the cast double 
up as the house band, with assorted trombones, clarinets, flutes and 
guitars being wielded to soundtrack each number. While such an approach 
gives a rough and ready streetband feel to proceedings, it never fully 
captivates in an intermittently funny show that should have spawned a 
monster.

The Herald, June 7th 2012

ends 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Suzy Glass – Message from the Skies

Freedom of movement matters to Suzy Glass, the arts and events producer currently overseeing the second edition of Message from the Skies.This animated literary derive around the city forms part of this year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme, and runs right through till Burns’ Night. Glass’ concerns are inherent in the event itself, which has commissioned six writers from different disciplines and experiences to each pen a love letter to Europe. Each writer has then paired up with a composer and visual artist or film-maker, with the results of each collaboration projected in monumental fashion on the walls of one of half a dozen of the capital’s most iconic buildings.
With venues stretching from the south side of Edinburgh to Leith, and with one city centre stop requiring a walk up Calton Hill, there is considerable legwork required to complete the circuit. It shouldn’t be considered a race, however, and audiences are free to move between venues at their leisure, visiting each site on d…

Kieran Hurley – Mouthpiece

Things have changed since Kieran Hurley first began writing the play that would become Mouthpiece, which opens at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh this weekend. At the time, Hurley was, in his own words, “quite new on the scene.” As a writer and performer, he had already scored hits with Beats and Chalk Farm, two pieces that put him on the map with a new generation of theatre-makers steeped in an equally new wave of grassroots opposition that drew from the iconography of revolutions past. Where Beats looked at the politicisation of 1990s club culture, Chalk Farm, co-written with AJ Taudevin, focused on a teenage boy caught up in the 2011 London riots.
More plays followed. Some, like Heads Up used the same solo story-telling aesthetic to look at an everyday apocalypse. More recently, Square Go, written with Gary McNair, dissected toxic masculinity through a school playground fight.
All the while as Hurley developed as a writer, from new kid on the block to established provocateur, this…

Rob Drummond – The Mack

Rob Drummond was at home in England when he looked at the news feed on his phone, and saw a post about the fire at Glasgow School of Art. It was June 2018, and the writer and performer behind such hits as Grain in the Blood, Bullet Catch and Our Fathers initially presumed the post was to mark the fourth anniversary of the 2014 blaze in GSA’s Mackintosh Building, which was undergoing a major restoration after much of it was destroyed.
As it turned out, the news was far worse, as reports of a second fire were beamed across the world. As someone who had taken Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s iconic construction for granted while living in Glasgow, Drummond was as stunned as anyone else with even a passing relationship with the Mack.
While emotions continue to run high in response to the disaster, Drummond channelled his thoughts on all this into what he does best. The result is The Mack, a new play that forms part of Oran Mor’s A Play, A Pie and a Pint lunchtime theatre season in Glasgow prior …