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East Midlands
posted/updated: 03 Oct 2011 -
Little Shop of Horrors
Based on the film by Roger Corman, Screenplay by Charles Griffith
society/company: Kilworth House Theatre
performance date: 07 Sep 2011
venue: North Kilworth
reviewer/s: Lewis W (Independent review)

Somewhere, hiding deep in the beautiful Leicestershire countryside is Kilworth House Theatre and Hotel, situated in what seems to be endless acres of well-kept woodland. Situated behind all the hustle and bustle of the main hotel, restaurants and car parks is the open-air Kilworth House Theatre and tonight saw my first visit to the theatre for their end of summer season production of Little Shop of Horrors.
I was smiling from the word go and I didnt seem to be the only one. From the opening of the show, (something the company had turned into what seemed to be a typical American drive-in screening for a horror B-movie), there was no dampening the moods of the audience as the energetic and talented cast told the story of the sweet, loveable flower shop boy, the ditzy blonde and the man eating plant. Stuart Neal as Seymor Krelbourne puts his own quirky spin on the character with his strong character acting and Joanna Woodward wins over the audience with her loveable portrayal as Audrey, both with very strong vocals. A special mention goes out to the three divas, Maria Omakinwa as Ronnette, Abiola Ogunbiyi as Crystal and Nadine Higgin as Chiffon; as they guide us through the story with their superb vocals, well balanced harmonies and their divine diva characters. The rest of the cast also hold really held their own; Kraig Thornber as Mushnik, Steven Serlin as Orin and Ako Mitchell as The Voice of Audrey 2. All cast members put their all into the show which really made this production special.

The production would not have been as successful without the witty and fast paced direction from Mitch Sebastian and some new orchestrations from Musical Director Matthew Freeman. Considering the theatre is outside and the stage space is not as big as you might find in some West End theatres, the set design by Sean Cavanagh and the unique design of the huge Audrey 2 puppet by Fiona Viccars do not disappoint. The set cleverly moving to create different stage spaces for the actors and the plant growing throughout the show until it reaches its peak where the Audrey 2 puppet is bigger and better than any I have ever seen!

All in all, my first visit to Kilworth House Theatre is one to remember and I definitely recommend it to others for a totally unique theatre experience with stunning performances all round! Congratulations to all involved with Little Shop of Horrors.

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