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Little Shop of Horrors is a 60`s style Rock and Roll/Mowtown comedy horror musical that needs a high degree of energy and pace to succeed. Trent Repertory Company gave us that in spades. From the opening number, Prologue, to the Finale the whole show raced along with very few pauses for breath.
Ronnette, Crystal and Chiffon were an absolute delight as they commented on the action throughout. Their harmonies were always spot-on and visually their movement, a delight. The big company number, Skid Row, choreographed by Kate Walker was not over complicated and very effective.
This show really stands or falls by the quality of the two leading characters, Seymour and Audrey and in Will Evans and Steph Berwick we had two very confident, charismatic actors, each with a bucketful of stage presence. Will, nerdy and slightly manic, controlled his performance brilliantly, never allowing the character to go too far over the top, while Steph was a scatter-brained innocent with a dress sense that bordered on the tacky. This was a performance of the highest order.
Having said that, this is not a two man show. There was not one weak link in the supporting cast. Each of them put their own stamp on their part and helped to bring a gutsy energy to the whole show. Chris Forster assembled an orchestra that swung with a vengeance and backed the strong vocals so very well.
Rebecca Bradbury again triumphed with `all things technical` constructing a set that drew the audience into the action which is quite a feat in the cavernous May Hall, and how fitting that the back stage crew got a chance to share a little of the limelight with their own bow at the end.
This was Director Tom Singletons final offering at Trent, and it is safe to say that he has certainly gone out with a bang. The overall direction was crisp and secure and the whole show had an air of style. Trent Rep has set a very high standard for itself and this show really maintained that standard.