Arts Review: Little Shop of Horrors – Hayes Theatre (Australian Tour)

Little Shop of Horrors, the musical where a giant man-eating plant takes center stage (or majority of the stage really). Oh, and it sings. Very sassily. If that doesn’t sell it for you then maybe you need to revisit your theatre needs.

This is a quirky dark comedy is brought to you by the very same music+lyrics team responsible for some of our favourite Disney- The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin… This is not Disney. Although perhaps Audrey II could make for an interesting new take on Disney Princess? The music and lyrics are just as wonderfully clever as any you’d find in our beloved films though, with catchy melodies and hilarious lines.

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS photo Jeff Busby_1123

The latest production at the Hayes Theatre does such a fantastic job at bringing this musical to life, with the most incredible puppetry. I really don’t want to spoil it for you, but watching Audrey II grow and devour on stage is something else!

The set itself, aside from our monster plant, is basic but sleek and boasts a quality sophistication. The feeling changes from a monochromatic first half to bright colours for the second, highly effective in the intimate space of the Hayes.

And could the cast have been any more perfectly… cast? Brent Hill is such an accurate Seymour, so unforced and delightfully awkward with a voice that brings Seymour and Audrey II to charismatic life. Esther Hannaford is an equally fabulous Audrey, and the crowd loves her innocent bumbling. Both she and Brent really pull off these little quirks and idiosyncrasies of their characters so well.

And when Seymour and Audrey belt out their “Suddenly Seymour” duet there was really little anyone could do to stop the crowd’s earsplittingly enthusiastic response.

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS photo Jeff Busby_1261

Scott Johnson with that accent and that chortle and that making you just want scream in disgust and clap your hands for more… And Josie Lane, Chloe Zuel and Angelique Cassimatis as the loud note-hitting soul sister narrator fabulous in your face street urchins! Yes!

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS photo Jeff Busby_1057

This is a quality production of a truly bizarre and much loved black comedy musical. And with the way everyone is raving about it its probably going to feast on those ticket sales, so get yours before Audrey II does!

Get down to Skid Row at Little Shop of Horrors, playing at the Hayes Theatre in Sydney until 19th March before touring to Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. For more information and tour dates visit http://www.littleshoptour.com.au

The reviewer attended Opening Night on the 23rd February.

Photo credit (c) Jeff Busby