Little Shop of Horrors: Review
This week the Academy Hall played host to a giant, man-eating plant called Audrey Two as the Year 13 Performing Arts production of Little Shop of Horrors took to the stage!
As part of their course, the students have to work together to produce, direct, market and perform a show. This is a huge undertaking, but the group carried it off in style. Directed by Anna Pearce (who also played five separate roles on stage!), the cast put on a professional-standard performance.
Phoebe Samuel, Jessy Lane and Emily Styring held the show together as soulful chorus singers Crystal, Ronette and Chiffon. They introduced the story of hapless orphan Seymour Krelborn (Cai Williams), whose fortunes are transformed when he acquires a strange and unusual plant. The plant - the aforementioned Audrey Two - brings customers aplenty to the flower shop where he works for his selfish boss, Mr Mushnik (George Derry), alongside the girl he named his plant after: Audrey (Courtney Draper). The plant seems able to grant his every wish and desire, but there's only one small problem - it feeds on blood. And it's hungry...
Audrey Two grew bigger and bigger as the play went on, as part of an incredible set. The moment when the plant's jaws first swung open caused the audience to gasp in surprise, as its voice (supplied by Alex Smithers from backstage) echoed around the Hall. Seymour is eventually persuaded to feed Audrey's sadistic maniac of a boyfriend - the Dentist, played with scenery-chewing relish by Ricky Parsons - to the hungry plant, which begins a downward spiral of chaos and destruction for all concerned!
The singing, acting and dancing was all of the highest standard, with a standout vocal performance by Courtney Draper in the role of Audrey. The cast were aided in several numbers by the singing and dancing chorus of Sandford Primary School's Year 3 children, whose enthusiasm and confidence brought the house down. They were backed by a great student band, directed by Mr Spencer, and a superb technical crew of stage management, sound and lighting who helped bring the performance to life.
The achievement of this group of students cannot be underestimated. Audiences across both nights were thrilled by the show, which was a fitting way to cap off a glittering career in the performing arts at Churchill for them all. Thanks to everyone involved!
Review by Mr Hildrew