Reviewed by David Smith
Blackwood Players have made big steps in the last few years and this production of the darkly humorous Little Shop of Horrors shows is evidence of that. They are setting themselves challenges and are achieving results. First time Director Georgie Bannard brought us a good, tight production, well supported by MD Carol Hollis and her small band.
The set was well designed and practical, decorated in a naïve, cartoon-like style. It supported the action well and the multiple scene changes went smoothly. The production ran fluently and maintained the pace.
James Barbary made a good impression as Seymour. He used his vocal strength well and had an engaging vulnerability. Opposite him, Karina Black had a wonderful understated presence as Audrey, Seymour’s co-worker in the flower shop. She sustained both her accent and character, and her quietly reflective rendition of 'Somewhere That’s Green' was simply beautiful.
Chris Overton was an animated and thoroughly Jewish Mushnik, Ron Densley was a slick and appropriately disagreeable Orin, while Lauren Bannard, Elle Nichelle and Tammy Shields added sassiness and nice harmonies.
Audrey II, in all her stages, looked the part, and Georgie Bannard’s voice was perfect for the role. It’s difficult to manage the plant as it devours entire people. This production did pretty well with that, although some victims looked a little too accommodating as they went down the gullet.
While there were some technical issues with sound balance and lighting cues on opening night, the general effect of the production was buoyant, active and bright.