Little Shop of Horrors Review

York Theatre Royal – until Saturday 23rd July 2022

Reviewed by Michelle Richardson


York Stage theatre company are once again playing at York Theatre Royal with their latest show, Little Shop of Horrors. This 1980’s horror comedy musical, started off on stage before being adapted to film and becoming a cult classic.

It tells the story of Seymour (Mikhail Lim), a nerdy orphan who works for Mr Mushnik (James Robert Ball) in a waning florist in Skid Row, along with the woman of his dreams, Audrey (Lauren Sheriston). Unfortunately, she is in an abusive relationship with the psychopathic Orin (Darren Lee Lumby), a dentist who loves inflicting pain, both in his private and work life.

Seymour loves tinkering with plants out the back and can’t resist anything unusual. On discovering a new, what turns out to be an alien plant, which he calls Audrey II, his fortune drastically changes along with those around him, but at what price?

Audrey II just isn’t flourishing and nothing poor Seymour does makes any difference until one night he cuts his finger, and the plant comes to life, it has a taste for human blood and a veracious appetite you see. What starts off as a bit of bloodletting by Seymour, soon escalates into Audrey II wanting more and more. How far will Seymour go to satisfy her carnivorous needs?

York Stage truly has a huge wealth of talent and this production showcases this. From the very start with the vocals of Crystal, Chiffon and Ronnette (Hannah Shaw, Lucy Churchill, and Cyanne Unamba-Oparah), you just knew this was going to be a quality production.

Lim has such an innocence to him as Seymour, soon losing that as he is corrupted by Audrey II, but even then, you can’t stop being charmed by him. Audrey II, in all her puppet guises is just phenomenal, a sight to behold, well worth the price of a ticket alone. Talking about the plant, I must mention Emily Ramsden who plays her when she first gets her voice. Her vocals are powerful and bring such a depth to Audrey II and the production, and of course “FEED ME SEYMOUR!”. Shersiton as Audrey reminds me of a Marilyn Monroe character, seemingly a loose woman, but is just vulnerable, accepting the unacceptable and just wanting to be loved, whatever the consequences. Lumby as Orin is truly sleazy and thoroughly horrid, in his skin-tight trousers, you can’t help but be repulsed by him, in a good way. The whole talented cast give their all and are a credit to the theatre company.

Accompanied by a live band, which is always a bonus, but I did find a bit too loud at times, the music and choreography were magnificent and cemented the whole package.

This vibrant production, directed and produced by Nik Briggs, is bold, energetic, and very funny. It’s a great kooky night out and should not be missed. Another hit for the fabulous York Stage Theatre Company.

On another note, I ordered some lucky dip shoes online and received them on the day I went to see the show. They just so happened to be based on Little Shop of Horrors, so of course I wore them. How freaky and lucky is that?