Southey Musical Theatre Company’s musical directed by Valerie Mills succeeds thanks to some strong lead performances.
The excellent Martin Scattergood is togged up with square clothes and geeky glasses to good effect as Seymour. He has a convincing New York accent and “speaking” singing voice. Time moves slowly in his florist to the sound of two keys on a piano. Gina Townend is Audrey his unrequited love who has a smashing set of lungs for her aspirational tune, Somewhere That’s Green which has the funny line “looking forward to watching TV on an enormous 12” screen.
Sam Guest has a small but influential part as bonkers dentist Orin. He inhales his patients’ nitrous oxide to increase the sadistic pleasure when treating them. At one point poor Seymour gets strapped into a dentist chair with a chain. I’m sure one or two odontophobics in the audience weren’t exactly relishing the scene.
The most impressive prop naturally was Audrey II himself, the bloodthirsty, manipulative flytrap which becomes progressively anthropomorphic and grows exponentially.
The big shock for those new to the show is as Audrey II (John Crowther) opens its mouth wide and speaks before breaking into a soulful but unnerving Feed Me Seymour.
The songs have a 60’s rock and roll feel courtesy of Alan Menken. The lead vocals are nicely backed up by Rosie Choppin, Viv Siberry-Scott and Michaela Short in addition to the live orchestra. The title song and Suddenly Seymour are favourites. The witty dialogue in this cautionary, macabre tale is by Howard Ashman.