Miles Eden is the director as BROS Musical Productions bring their production of Little Shop Of Horrors to the Regis Centre stage from October 31-November 3.
After their success with Sister Act in May 2018, BROS are offering another Alan Menken classic – a deviously-delicious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash-hit musical.
The meek floral assistant Seymour Krelborn stumbles across a new breed of plant he names Audrey II after his co-worker crush. This foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore promises unending fame and fortune to the down-and-out Krelborn as long as he keeps feeding it blood. Over time, though, Seymour discovers Audrey II’s out of this world origins…
“The company decides the shows about 12 months in advance,” Miles says. “The next show after this will be Chitty Chitty Bang Bang which will be quite something.
“I have been a member of the company for quite a long time.
“I have worked a lot with Kate Bennett who has directed pretty much all of their book shows they have done in the past god knows how many years. I also used to teach drama with Kate at Stagecoach in Brighton.”
After time in Ireland and Spain, Miles then came back to the area about ten years ago: “I eventually set up my own business in recruitment and that has given me time to be able to do things like this, interest-wise rather than financial-wise.
“Little Shop of Horrors came up. Kate had directed it a couple of times, and I just thought it was a great show. The music is fantastic. It is very funny, and it is a great spectacle.
“There are a lot of comedy elements, and the music itself is very rocky-bluesy, and there are some really funny characters. Little Shop of Horrors was originally a film made in 1952, one of the first films that Jack Nicholson appeared in. It became renowned as one of the worst movies ever put on film. It was very much a B-movie, but it became quite a cult. And then it became the musical.
“It is about a flower shop that is completely dead, looking as though it is going to close. It is in a bad area, but all of a sudden this small plant is discovered by one of the young lads in the shop. He basically thinks it is quite unusual and he brings it back to the shop and decides to nurture it. He gives it plant food, but just after he cuts his finger, the plant opens up. He feeds it a little bit of blood and it starts to grow…”
The big challenge for the production is the plant itself which has got to go from tiny to huge in the course of the show – something which is achieved by using four successive pods, pods one, two, three and four.
“Pod one is like the size of a Maxwell House coffee container, and then you get to stage two which is an arm puppet which is sewn into the sleeve of a jacket, a bit like a Rod Hull and his emu. There are some comedic moments. In fact, I have directed Seymour to play it a bit like Rod Hull. And it then grows from a Rod Hull arm puppet into quite a substantial pod where the operator has to sit inside it. It is quite technically challenging. The final pod, pod four, is very tall, about eight or nine foot tall with three people operating it.”