Little Shop of Horrors: Sweeney Todd, let me introduce you to Ground Force and Grease


LITTLE Shop of Horrors, currently being performed in Aberystwyth Arts Centre until August 31st, offers to show you what the outcome would be if Grease, Sweeney Todd and Ground Force were all put into the blender of musical theatre – and director Anthony Williams’ cast played it out superbly for a packed audience on 30th July.

A theme often prominent in literature (and reality), the idea of improving ones life and finances to the detriment of morality is tackled throughout the film. Seymour, played by James Gillan, longs to be noticed by his co-worker in a flower shop, Audrey, the part acted well by Sarah Earnshaw. The two hours on stage that follow show their lives in Mr Mushnik’s shop (Jimmy Johnston) and Seymour’s rise to fame alongside the growth of his miracle plant, Audrey II, named after the woman he wants to be with.

The play is quintessential musical theatre; light hearted lines followed by consistently on-key song performances by all of the cast. The highlight of the night for the audience was the song and dance combination between Mushnik and Seymour, as the former offers to adopt his employee to take advantage of his new-found fame. The singing was as consistent as the rest of the night, but the dancing by Johnston and Gillan showed such versatility of talent in a performance that would not look out of place in Blackpool Tower ballroom.

The plot transpires that the plant can only survive with human blood. Seymour pricks himself on the thorns of the plant (which strongly resembles a Venus flytrap), before stepping up his crimes to a double manslaughter and disposing of bodies before the end of the night in an attempt to stop the plant from dying, and with it, his dreams.

Seymour and Audrey do eventually get together, before the plant kills her in the lust for blood and her body is fed it. Not long Seymour realises that it was the wrong decision and jumps into the plant with a machete in an attempt to smite the plant that garnered him so much fame. However the plant devours him, spits out the machete and goes on to be re-sold and get into the houses of America causing the same scenes that are played out in Little Shop of Horrors.

As somebody who is not a keen follower of musicals, the evening was thoroughly enjoyable. The execution seemed to be extremely well rehearsed, a sign of quality professionalism. The same background and opinion applies to somebody that I attended with, who is much the same but left signing the title song.

The acting, singing and choreography were all to a tee, and the performance appealed to everybody of all ages.