Photo from Ghosts

Little Shop of Horrors, AC Arts
Australian Stage

Adelaide College of the Arts is showcased in an extravagant staging of the classic 1980s musical Little Shop of Horrors. Students of all six disciplines at the college have contributed to every aspect of the show, from on stage to behind the scenes.

The show follows a hapless florist shop assistant who raises a plant that feeds on human flesh and blood. It is an exciting and slightly unsettling black comedy with a taste of rock, pop and Motown.

The small cast and accompanying ensemble was strong and well balanced. The Supremes style trio (Michaela Black, Bianca Sheedy, Stef Rossi) opened the show with a swagger that continued to please during their recurring appearances. David Andri was a standout as the sadistic dentist. While his vocals didn't quite match the standard of others, his outstanding acting abilities more than compensated. Patrick Clements was also hilarious but was let down by a lack of conviction and realism in his delivery.

Simon McLoughlin and Romina Verdiglione really held the show together as the goofy Seymour and loveable Audrey. The duet 'Suddenly Seymour' showcased their onstage chemistry and impressive vocals.

Special mention must of course be made of Audrey II, the carnivorous plant. Operated by eight puppeteers, Audrey II was spectacularly menacing. Her design and construction is a tangible testament of the quality of the performance.

Jenn Havelberg's choreography is minimal but effective, demonstrated best by the elegant movements of the three Motown muses. Ross Burford and his small orchestra are equally impressive. The sound was a little unbalanced at times, with some dialogue and solos difficult to hear, but this was a minor issue.

It would be hard to guess that Little Shop of Horrors was a student constructed project. The show was certainly hard to fault; the fifty production students and fourteen acting students having created a chic and well-oiled production of professional standard.


reviewed by Ben Nielsen

Wednesday 12th September, 2012