Kilkenny Musical Society’s 39th annual production “Little Shop of Horrors” opened at the Watergate on Sunday night and the audience loved every minute of it. This show has great colour, lighting, an amazing set, a series of animated plants with some superb acting by Brendan Corcoran, Kevina Hayes and Kevin Reade.
Kilkenny has been well served with actors and actresses who could hold their own on any stage. Brendan Corcoran would certainly be on this list but it is great to see the younger generation now taking their place among the elite. Kevin Reade as Seymour and Kevina Hayes as Audrey were outstanding. Their acting ability, their musicality and their great rapport together made for enthralling musical theatre.
Their duet “Suddenly Seymour” in the second act was probably the highlight of the show. In Little Shop Brendan Corcoran plays Mr Mushnik the owner of a beleaguered Flower Shop on Skid Row. His tango “Mushnik and Son” with Seymour was another highlight and one which had the audience roaring approval.
An innovation in the production was the use of a short film to introduce the sadistic dentist Orin. This character is played by another up and coming actor Fergal Miller whose last appearance in the Watergate was in “By the Bog of Cats”.
“Little Shop of Horrors” also calls for the use of puppetry to bring the fly trap plant named Audrey 2 to life. The plant starts as a simple window top potted plant and goes through four stages reaching a
12 foot high man eater in Act 2. The puppets were made by cast members David Brydone and Rebecca Murphy and they are operated on stage by David. The voice of the plant is sung in Rhythm and Blues style by Greg Porter.
The title of the production would indicate a gory story line and very much removed from what a Kilkenny Musical Society audience might expect. However this is not the case as “Little Shop” is essentially a tender love story and it is sprinkled with moving numbers such as “Somewhere that’s Green” and “Suddenly Seymour”. There is certainly up beat rock and roll numbers and big chorus numbers such as “Skid Row” and “Don’t Feed the Plants”.
Overall this was a superb night’s entertainment as evidence by the sustained standing ovation on Opening Night. Director David Heffernan can be well pleased with the finished product. The band under the direction of Michael Fay had the place rocking. Gerry Taylor’s lighting made the most of the innovative John O Donoghue designed set and gave us some stunning images throughout. The choreography of Sandra Kavanagh was excellent.
As with all Kilkenny Musical Society shows the difficulty will now be obtaining tickets as news of this production spreads around the city and county.
As we go to print there are still tickets available for each performance. “Little Shop” continues nightly until Saturday night. Booking at Watergate Box Office on 056/7761674 or on line at www.watergatetheatre.com