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KATS - Little Shop of Horrors

29th to 31st July 2004.

From the Newbury Weekly News.

The price of fame

KATS: Little Shop of Horrors, at Kennet School, Thatcham, from Thursday, July 29, to Saturday, July 31

As a musical Little Shop of Horrors makes no attempt to hide its origins and inspiration. Think of every cult 'horror' film ever made by RKO. Add anything where you've seen a hapless heroine trying to run in unsuitably high-heeled shoes from a monster created by a well-meaning scientist gone to the bad and you are almost there. All you need is more than a passing nod in the direction of The Rocky Horror Show and you know, you just know, you're in for a good time.

Cut to the chase. If NWN2 had a budget for Oscars, then my nominations would read as follows: Best Director Award goes to Carrie Marsh and Andy Pocock; Best Actor goes to Jon Lovell (Seymour); Best Actress has to be Claire Bowden (Audrey); Best Supporting Actor would be Mike Cole (Mushnik); with the accolade for Best Supporting Actress being shared by the ladies of the chorus, Laura Cook, Jo Dunwell, Siouxsie Ashmore and Mandy Cole.

Did I enjoy it? Shucks... You guessed! I'm a doo-wop shanga-lang-a-lang fan.

Anything that looks fun on paper can all fall apart on the night if nobody takes it seriously. It must also be quite daunting to know that no matter how good you are you will eventually be up-staged by a flesh-eating plant. However, fear not. This was as crisp and as fresh as if nobody involved in the production had ever seen the video. Lots of thought (and time) had gone into recreating more costume changes than a Cher concert for the chorus.

Visually the whole production convincingly replicated the tawdry glamour of the underbelly of the Great American Dream.

But wait up. These were real characters, the battered girlfriend, the splendid sadistic dentist (a magnificent Andy Pocock) struggling with a drug problem, the poor trying to make good and the world of the mighty dollar reaching in and corrupting everything and everybody it touched.

A classic tale of fame, fortune and too much fertiliser. Don't feed the plants. No really! Don't!