‘Little Shop of Horrors’ (A-Team Productions) | Review By Lewis C. Baird

Last night was the closing evening for youth theatre, A-Team Productions’, run of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’. This open aired production was one of the few established musicals running at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.  

Downtown New York is the setting for ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, where Seymour – a nerdy florist’s assistant – fights for the survival of mankind against a giant plant with a macabre craving. 

Cameron Kelsey is outstanding as Seymour Krelborn. Not only does Cameron capture Seymour’s anxiety and emotional journey perfectly, but he also performs the numbers with utterly astounding vocals. Cameron adds complex riffs into the almost forty-year-old soundtrack with such confidence. This is a very fresh take on Seymour. Cameron’s portrayal is one which easily could fit onto a West End or even Broadway stage. 

Bailey Cavanagh’s portrayal of Audrey is flawless. This young actress stuns the audience with her heartbreakingly stunning renditions of ‘Suddenly Seymour’ and ‘Somewhere That’s Green’. These are heavy numbers that even seasoned actresses fail to deliver which such ease and emotion. Bailey and Cameron’s dynamic on stage as Audrey and Seymour, lifts this production and gives it the quality of a professional touring or residential production, 

Aaron Clason as Mr Mushnik presents us with great comic relief and a really fun dynamic with Cameron as Seymour. Ben Eales understudied as Orin Scrivello (the mental dentist). Ben truly captured the insanity needed for this absolutely mental character. However, at points the threat was missing from this devious character. None the less, it was a great portrayal to watch and left the audience in stitches. 

Joe Gill as Audrey II (voice and puppeteer) provided the vocals and presence of the hilarious and at points terrifying plant. When Joe emerged for the bows, it was easy to be surprised that this young actor had been behind Audrey II’s booming vocals. 

Robin McGillvray as Ronette, Heather Richardson as Chiffon and Ailish Barry as Crystal deliver utterly marvellous vocals, and throw theirselves into the dynamic range of the greek chorus for this iconic musical. 

The ensemble for this musical did well to amplify the ‘Skid row’ setting with witty and engaging improv, the ensemble were as follows; Eden Redpath, Sandy Bishop, Aydan MacDonald, Rachel Hamilton, Caitlyn Dick, Kirsty Allan, Iona McKenzie, Maya Ross, Megan Ross, Eve Boyd, Josh Heath, Lauren Davina and Elizabeth Queen. 

Jackie Robinson’s direction for this production does well to wring every ounce of talent out of every member of the cast and rely on them to carry the show. Other ‘Little Shop of Horror’ productions rely on the spectacle of Audrey II, however A-Team Productions’ run of the show feels much more wholesome, and that’s due to the joy of seeing young performers being given the platform to truly show their talent and capability. It is clear that Jackie’s direction has facilitated the ability for this cast to feel at ease to make creative and bold decisions which ultimately pay off. Cerys Reading’s bewitching musical direction of this production, gives the audience the sound of a band situated in a theatre’s orchestra pit, rather than the actual setting of under scaffolding in the middle of a field. The musical numbers in this production sound fantastic, not only thanks to the band but also the superb singing talents of the cast.  

Amber Docherty’s choreography for this production amplifies every number with great movement which does well to work with the minimal space given. Rosie Gill’s puppet and costume design beautifully replicates the iconic design and skid row vibe we have seen not only in theatrical productions but also the motion picture. Daniel Thompson’s set design is minimalistic yet perfectly fits the setting of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’. The various heights the staging has, helps separate scenes and also make the blocking very intricate. 

A-Team Productions open aired production of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ is a fabulous and highly entertaining version of this musical which hasn’t had much of a theatrical run in Scotland. Hopefully we can see more productions similar to this from A-Team Productions in the future. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

For more information in regards to A-Team Productions, please check out the link before:

https://www.ateamproductions.co.uk/

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