Little Shop of Horrors 2023: Review

Date10th May 2023
SocietyFakenham & District Light Opera Society (FADLOS)
VenueFakenham Community Centre
DirectorScott Meacock
Musical DirectorJo Kemp
ChoreographerTilly Baron, Maria Cutting and Karen Barnes
ProducerJeremy Barker
Written ByHoward Ashman and Alan Menken


Author: Martyn Rolfe

Skid Row comes to Fakenham Community Centre and what a transformation it was. The stage crew and company members who have helped build this strong and beautifully painted set should be justly proud of this totally finished article. The cast moved around it with ease and scene changes just seemed to happen. Combine this with some clever lighting, especially the plant, and you have a very impressive set.

As the well balanced and vibrant sounding orchestra led us into the show, under the direction of Jo Kemp, we were taken to skid row by Chiffon (Chloe Hunter), Crystal (Maria Cutting) and Ronette (Emma Galley). This harmonising trio were our guides through this tale, and what a great job they did, with their numerous costume changes and slick routines they were a pleasure to watch.

The story revolves around a flower shop owned by Mr Muchnik (Nick Bird), and if you want a strong singing, well-acted character part you could not put in safer hands than these His shop assistant Seymour (Ryan Standing) handled this part very well. It is a big sing and requires a high level of concentration combined with talent to carry this off. He managed both. The duet “Muchnik and Son” was a highlight.

Muchnik also has another shop assistant Audrey (Tilly Baron) and this much maligned, abused person with low esteem and low self-worth was sensitively played and beautifully sung by an obviously talented young actress.

She has a boyfriend Orin (Jeremy Barker), this motorcycle riding, sadistic dentist who appears to be high on Nitrous Oxide, gives us a multi-facetted character. This makes it a difficult part to play as it requires a large amount of control from the actor so as not to become ridiculous. Jeremy did a good job and by the end of the dentist scene we wanted the plant to eat him.

The magnificent plant is the star of the show, operated skilfully by Tom Bailey and voiced by Ben Francis. The vocal part of the plant is very demanding and requires someone with vocal strength and range, and this is exactly what we got from Ben.

I must mention the rest of the company as they played several lesser parts, gave good vocal support to the principals, what a great job they did.

Under the direction of Scott Meacock and Jeremy Barker and with the dance routines (Tilly Baron and Maria Cutting with help from Karen Barnes) cleverly matched to the ability of the company, this led to thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining evening.

Congratulations to the full company and I hope you enjoy the rest of your run.

“The old FADLOS is back”.

PS I love the inclusion and meaning of the green heart on the scenery.

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