Cult classic and audience favourite, Little Shop of Horrors is heading to the Palace Theatre in October as part of a new UK tour. Set in 1950’s New York, well, Skid Row, to be more precise, Little Shop of Horrors is a hilarious tale of, love and laughter, with a little bit of murder, mayhem and of course a mean green mother from outta space thrown in for good measure!
Geeky but loveable Seymour discovers an exotic new plant which soon turns around the fortunes of the failing Mushnik’s Flower Shop where he works as an assistant in downtrodden Skid Row. He christens the plant ‘Audrey II’ in honour of his fellow assistant Audrey whom he is secretly besotted with. Sadly Audrey is stuck in the clutches of the sinister (if not a little bit sexy) Dentist, Orin Scrivello, who has a rather unhealthy passion for pain. Add to this the fact that Audrey II is quickly developing into a demanding, ill-tempered, obscenity loving carnivore that’s attracting more and more attention by the second and you’ve got one hell of an entertaining production.
We sat down with cast members Rhydian (The Dentist), Sam Lupton (Seymour) and Stephanie Clift (Audrey) to hear what this revamped production has in store for Manchester audiences.
Taking on the devilish role of the Prince of plaque, is X Factor finalist and recording artist Rhydian, who has been a huge fan of the show for many years so jumped at the chance to join the cast. Experienced in musical theatre having appeared in Grease, We Will Rock You, Jesus Christ Superstar and Rocky Horror to name but a few, Rhydian loves the fact he can be completely outrageous on stage and have so much fun with the role.
“With this show you feel every single emotion, you’ll be crying, you’ll be laughing, you’ll be wincing, you’ll become absorbed with the relationships the characters have with each other. The energy is fantastic, we have the best director, lighting designer, choreographer, cast, it’s a winning combination and a great night out”.
“I do musicals if I really like the show, and I really, really like this show, I love big show stoppers, everyone knows the music from Little Shop even if they don’t at first realise, the audience reactions have been incredible, we’ve even got the rights to perform Mean Green Mother live which we’ve never had before and the audience totally love every single minute of it as do we as a cast performing it”.
Joining Rhydian as unlucky in love, Seymour is Sam Lupton, a graduate of Manchester School Of Theatre and experienced West End performer who has appeared as Boq in Wicked as well as in the touring production of Avenue Q amongst many other great shows. Having studied in Manchester for three years Sam is really looking forward to returning to the city, Sam loved living in Manchester and misses his time here, he used to frequent the Palace Theatre weekly so his return is made even more special by the fact that this is his dream role in a theatre that he loves.
“I saw an article around April time announcing the tour would be happening and have been a huge fan of the show since I was 6 or 7, I’ve always wanted to play Seymour professionally even more so after appearing in an amateur production when I was 15 where I played the voice of Audrey II, I rang my agent straight away and said ‘That’s mine, I want it’, after four or five rounds of auditions where I auditioned with several different Audrey’s, officially getting the part was fantastic”.
Stephanie Clift who appeared in Mamma Mia in the West End straight after graduating from Arts Education Schools London in 2013 completes our leading line up and is totally thrilled to have bagged the role of Audrey, finding out about the show in a more unusual way;
“My baby niece is taught dance by the associate musical director Mark’s partner Suzie in Devon when I’m from, I was home one day and went to see my nice at her dance class where I got chatting to Suzie who asked me what my dream role was, I immediately answered Audrey from Little Shop and Suzie told me then that it was due to be going on tour, I knew straight away I had to be in it”.
Both Sam and Stephanie agree that one of the highlights of the show for both them is when they sing Suddenly Seymour together, they feel the buzz of the audience anticipation of the song followed by their enjoyment once the music begins, for Stephanie it holds some really special nostalgic memories;
For me as a little girl, falling in love with the show, with Audrey and now getting to do that, remembering my reaction as a little girl and now being involved in creating that reaction for our audiences, it really is a dream come true”
Directed by Tara Wilkinson for Sell a Door Theatre Company and Damien Tracey Productions, Little Shop of Horrors is already proving to be an almighty hit, with rave reviews from each stop on the tour so far. With only one week to catch this riotous and hugely entertaining show act fast and book your tickets, with a strong cast, awesome staging, and catchy tunes you’ll be humming for days this really is one not to be missed!
Little Shop Of Horrors – Palace Theatre, Manchester,
Mon 31st Oct-Sat 5th Nov
Perf Times: Mon-Sat eves 7.30pm, Sat mat 2.30pm
0844 871 3019