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Bloodthirsty comedy Little Shop of Horrors hopes to thrill audiences at Romford’s Brookside Theatre

PUBLISHED: 15:00 07 February 2019 | UPDATED: 15:25 07 February 2019

The Little Shop of Horrors coming to Brookside Theatre in Romford. Photo: Jai Sepple

The Little Shop of Horrors coming to Brookside Theatre in Romford. Photo: Jai Sepple

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A kooky 1960s-set musical spin-off about a nerdy florist and his man-eating plant is coming to Romford.

Chris Ribbing stars as Orin in the Little Shop of Horrors coming to Brookside Theatre in Romford. Photo: Jai SeppleChris Ribbing stars as Orin in the Little Shop of Horrors coming to Brookside Theatre in Romford. Photo: Jai Sepple

Little Shop of Horrors, based on the 1960 Roger Corman cult classic, will be playing at Brookside Theatre, Eastern Road.

In this gleefully gruesome musical Seymour, a poor florist’s assistant, allows his craving for fame and fortune to seduce him into playing nursemaid to a man-eating plant.

His attempts to satisfy the growing plant’s demands for more are accompanied by a great score of witty parodies of ’60s music.

Between bites, the carnivorous plant, Audrey II – named after Seymour’s secret love – brings the house down singing rhythm and blues tunes similar to the likes of Otis Redding and James Brown.

Sam Towler, 27, from Canning Town, is playing the role of Seymour.

He told the Recorder: “I think the show is best when there’s a small cast and we’re trying to keep it as close to the original as possible.

“We’ve got a really run down shop in a tough part of New York and in that shop there’s a guy called Seymour who is a bit of a nerd.

“He’s not got a whole lot going for him, but he’s got a big heart and an unrequited love for his colleague, Audrey.

Sam Towler as Seymour and Steve Probert as Mr Mushnik in the Little Shop of Horrors coming to Brookside Theatre. Photo: Jai SeppleSam Towler as Seymour and Steve Probert as Mr Mushnik in the Little Shop of Horrors coming to Brookside Theatre. Photo: Jai Sepple

“He stumbles across a plant which turns out to be more dangerous than he originally thought.”

Sam has seen the show before and enjoys listening to the music from the film.

“When you’ve got a show written by one of Disney’s biggest composers you know you’ve got to have some really impressive songs.”

Expected to steal the show is a massive Audrey II puppet.

“Audrey II grows throughout the play,” said Sam.

“We’ve got some great puppetry with this massive 6ft plant which takes up most of the stage.”

Liberty Watts, 24, from Billericay, stars alongside Sam as Audrey.

She said: “Audrey doesn’t have very good self esteem and she doesn’t think very highly of herself, but she really likes Seymour.

Neesha Robinson, Koreen Samuel and Simone Elesha star as The Urchins in Little Shop of Horrors coming to Brookside Theatre in Romford. Photo: Jai SeppleNeesha Robinson, Koreen Samuel and Simone Elesha star as The Urchins in Little Shop of Horrors coming to Brookside Theatre in Romford. Photo: Jai Sepple

“It’s really nice to play her as she’s got so many layers. It’s such a far-out and crazy plot but then you’ve got this other layer with really relatable characters and relationships.

“I think that’s what makes the show so good.”

Steve Probert, 67, from Shenfield, plays Mr Mushnik, the owner of the flower shop.

He said: “Although [Mr Mushnik] really likes Seymour he can never let him know it.

“There are some fantastic songs that are really well written. My favourite is Mushnik and Son, because it shows the moment where he asks Seymour to be his son.

“It’s a little bit of comedy with some choreography – it’s just a really nice song.”

Sam, Audrey and Steve are joined by Chris Ribbing as Orin and Neesha Robinson, Koreen Samuel and Simone Eleshaas as The Urchins.

Little Shop of Horrors began as a Broadway smash hit and was turned into a film in 1986.

Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken’s score is in the style of rock ‘n’ roll, doo-wop and early Motown music featuring well-known tunes such as Suddenly Seymour and Somewhere That’s Green.

“Our Little Shop of Horrors will be a gory, scary, glitter and sequins treat for all the family,” said the theatre’s artistic director, Jai Sepple.

“The theatre’s intimate auditorium will be sure to provide a brilliant arena for a musical spectacular, drawing the audience right into the middle of a classic cult story.”

The creative team behind the production includes Bailey Barham on sound design, PJ Tomlinson doing puppetry, Christopher Weeks on musical direction and Harri Sepple on lighting design and choreography.

The musical is a high energy comedy of bloodthirsty plant life that hopes to leave the audience feeling just like Audrey II between victims – ravenous for more.

Little Shop of Horrors plays at Brookside Theatre in Eastern Road from Wednesday, February 20 to Saturday, February 23. Visit brooksidetheatre.com or call 01708 755775 for tickets.

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