Little Shop of Horrors by composer Alan Menken and writer Howard Ashman, is a standard favourite among botanists and theatre practitioners alike offering a good dose of black comedy, toe tapping tunes and a hearty dose of moral excavation. Nurtured in the strong and skilled hands (and feet) of Stephen Colyer this beautifully presented cult classic of Music Theatre has it all: song, dance, an astounding array of talent and even a bloody thirsty plant!

Mr Mushniks’ business on Skid row is in trouble until one day Seymour Krelborn convinces him to put his newly acquired “strange and interesting plant” front and centre in the shop window. And with this genius stroke of strategic marketing: the lives of these florists change forever.

Don’t be fooled by it’s catchy 1950’s doo-wop, shoo-wah songs and cheesy homage to B-grade horror films, there is a more significant message afoot. Built on the tradition of Faust, Little Shop of Horrors is a well trodden story which whispers “careful what you wish for” and warns us to be wary of that which will provide us what we wish for: for although that wish may come true- it always has its price. A reoccurring theme it seems coming from the lyricist/producer and composer who wrote the score Walt Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

Colyer’s production is smart, funny and with some beautifully succinct choreography complemented by fantastic design elements (which easily solves some of this production’s trickier staging requirements.) Rita Carmody’s costume and set design is both appropriate for time and place. A simple checkerboard set design, complete with calico curtain, facilitates set/prop transformations in a clean and fluid manner.

Performances by the whole cast are impressive and engaging all round: Andrew Threfall is perfectly nerdy as Seymour offering a lot in the way of sympathy in the role of unlikely hero and Sophie Webb is completely, delightfully, heartbreakingly loveable as the long suffering Audrey. Stephen Anderson is terrifying and yet surprisingly magnetic as bad-boy dentist Orin, and does a magnificent job shape shifting between roles within the last few numbers of ACT 2.Tony Taylor plays a sturdy and miserly Mr Mushnik, while Crystal (Brionny Fagan) Chiffon (Ellissa Fry) and Ronnette (Vanessa Raspa) are equally powerful yet different as the narrators/ back up singers- impressively belting out some of the well known tunes. Sam Haft is strangely convincing as the voice of Audrey II… and is well partnered with puppeteer Jeremy Rosentrauss. In a twist of contemporary kitsch (and perhaps homage to B-grade Television), having shed the shackles of Big Brother, Gretel Killeen features as The Voice of God.

Particular moments of astounding heartfelt conviction arise throughout Colyer’s production of Little Shop of Horrors, including Audrey’s Day dreaming solo “Somewhere That’s Green” and Audrey and Seymour’s tender duet “Suddenly Seymour.” This is testament not only to the performers Sophie Webb and Andrew Thelfall, but to the talents of Mark Chamberlain who should be congratulated for his tight and impressive musical direction of this show with a small but effective band of musicians.

This ambitious show is both beautifully executed and filled with some amazing rising talent, and Colyer is to be commended for this funny and tender production which shows the danger of good intentions especially when it comes to love and botany.