It's dark, sexy, hilarious, and also a little bit sad. The cult musical Little Shop of Horrors is going on a national tour this year, kicking off in Adelaide on April 22. Produced by Luckiest Productions and Tinderbox Productions, the gruesome musical combines upbeat, doo wop Motown with puppet wizardry and an incredible talented Australian cast.
If you haven't ever heard of this hit production, let us get you up to speed. Little Shop of Horrors is one of the longest running off Broadway shows of all time, inspired by the 1960 Roger Corman film of the same name. The production version began in 1982, and since then has been performed around the world, as well as on screen in the 1986 film. The plot basically entails a down and out floral assistant Seymour Krelborn who stumbles across a new plant species that he names 'Audrey II'; after his co-worker crush. It seems like a ticket to fame and fortune, but as Audrey II grows into a foul-mouthed, smooth talking, sassy carnivore, Seymour discovers that feeding his ambition starts to require juicier and less justifiable ingredients. Before we know it, Seymour and the gutsy Audrey must battle the persuasive plant for the future of planet Earth!
Sounds a bit out there? Well this production is no boring fairytale. It's sexy, funny, and in fact a little bit scary! With a killer cast who have graced the stages around Australia for years, you're sure to be thoroughly entertained. We were lucky enough to get a sneak peak at the production, and let us tell you, the voices on these performers are out of this world. Add to that an incredible set, amazing costumes (designed by Tim Chappel, who designed and won an ACADEMY AWARD for the costumes in Priscilla Queen of the Desert we'll have you know), show-stopping choreography and a heart-pounding score.
The other star of this production is in fact, a puppet. We don't want to give too much away, but the puppet playing 'Audrey II' has to be seen to be believed. Created by the award winning master-puppet makers Erth, who have been crafting incredible puppetry, inflatable environments and aerial and flying creatures for over 20 years. Their CV includes the Sydney Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, and their work has appeared in Museums around the World.
We sat down with the production's Director Dean Bryant, who has been directing stage productions around the world for 20 years, as well being a legend of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, to talk Little Shop of Horrors, and things people may not know about #tourlife.
You're kicking off the Little Shop tour in Adelaide, have you been here before?
Oh yeah I've been to Adelaide a lot, I've had probably 9 shows in the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. I think I've been to here every year with a new show since 2009. I love Adelaide!
And what brought you to Little Shop of Horrors?
I've always loved it, I saw the movie it as a teenager and feel like a lot of people have seen it, but never seen it live. [The stage production] is a very different experience. It's all the fun of the movie but it's darker, sexier and it's actually sadder. It gives you that 'Les Mis' feeling but attached to a sexy show. Our take is very urban and realistic...
What are some aspects about touring people may not know?
Peple don't know that when you move around you have to keep re-teching the show in every theatre and it's really stressful to get it done in a day's time. As you can see there's quite a lot of stuff on stage.
The great thing about touring is you get to go to so many different places. I look after Priscilla Queen of the Desert all around the world, and what's amazing is we've been to Brazil, South Korea... You get to live somewhere for 6 weeks with locals who show you everything that's amazing about a city.
Is this the cast's first time working together?
A lot of them have worked together in various combinations, it's their first time as a unit company. I've worked with nearly all of them on various shows though. It's a great combo!
Little Shop of Horrors kicks off in Adelaide at Her Majesty's Theatre. Tickets are available for their Adelaide season from bass.net.au
Images via Little Shop of Horrors