Tag Archive: Brownhills

Look out, here comes Audrey Two. Look out, here I come for you.

Ominous words, summing up events witnessed in Brownhills Musical Theatre Company’s offering of Little Shop of Horrors. With music from Alan Menken and book and lyrics by Howard Ashman, this 1982 musical is loosely based on the 1962 film of the same name.

Little Shop of Horrors — Prince of Wales Theatre Cannock — 4 November 2020

Seymour Krelborn works in a failing flower shop for the cranky Mushnik while harbouring feelings for fellow assistant, Audrey. When Seymour discovers a strange and interesting plant, he puts it in the shop window which attracts customers, boosting sales in the shop. However, this alien plant feeds on blood, leading to Seymour supplying it with humans to protect his secret. Having only ever seen the 1986 musical film adaption, I was surprised about the different conclusion which I won’t spoil here but let’s say with the scenario just described, it’s never going to end well.

Little Shop of Horrors — Prince of Wales Theatre Cannock — 4 November 2020

Little Shop caters for a smaller cast than most shows with less opportunity for chorus, but Brownhills used these well when used. The set was impressive, giving the feel of the shop but the most spectacular was the Audrey Two models themselves with several to show the progression of growth.

Present throughout are the street urchins: Hattie Parry (Crystal), Sarah Taylor (Chiffon) and Charlottle Trigg (Ronnette) who were amazing. They supplied a running soundtrack which allowed scenes to flow. Also on stage for the duration was a wino (Brian Washington) who spent much of the time slumped in the rubbish but then used for good comic foil.

In the role of Seymour, we had Brett Dewsbury who showed a fine voice and good characterisation during Grow for Me before teaming superbly with Charlotte Foulkes (Audrey) in Suddenly Seymour. Foulkes was also excellent in Somewhere That’s Green, a lovely number and my favourite of the night.

Another brilliant song was the team-up of Dewsbury’s Seymour with Peter Brown (Mushnik) for Mushnik and Son. Brown captured the florist’s character perfectly as did Chris Parry with Orin Scrivello, particularly during Be a Dentist. Orin’s death scene was hysterical, inducing infectious laughing from the audience while the ill-fated dentist dies from inhaling nitrous oxide. But I can’t heap praise without Audrey Two itself. It must be surreal to be in a production as vocals only, but Katie Gibson gave stunning deliveries as the monster plant’s voice. But if I’m mentioning the audibles of Audrey Two, I can’t leave out Lauren Knowles’ skills as its puppeteer. This was a sharp professional production directed by Kelly Tye and Richard Tye with Alex Priestley overseeing a sympathetic orchestra as Musical Director.

Little Shop of Horrors — Prince of Wales Theatre Cannock — 4 November 2020

In a time of recession and financial hardship, it was still nice to see a near full auditorium which gave their appreciation with a standing ovation at the end of the show. Brownhills’ next offering is A Chorus Line, February 17 & 18 next year at the same venue. If it’s as good as Little Shop of Horrors, it will be well worth seeing.

Little Shop of Horrors — Prince of Wales Theatre Cannock — 4 November 2020


Antony N Britt 

  • Some photos blatantly stolen from BMTC’s Facebook Page.

Due to a ridiculous schedule with my own production and other commitments these past few months, I’m way behind on publishing reviews, so sorry about that.


Legally Blonde is one of the best musicals to appear in the 21st Century, popular with audiences and critics alike. However, it needs to be done well and fortunately for the people of Cannock, Brownhills Musical Theatre Company did exactly that.

This is a show I have seen a lot but also the smallest venue/stage I’ve witnessed it performed. I’m glad to say, nothing was lost. Much of that was due to the size of the cast. Many amateur societies struggle for members, so it was refreshing to see around forty on stage. The difference this makes to company numbers cannot be ignored. A huge wall of sound combined with great expression and interaction from all.

Legally Blonde tells the tale of Elle Woods (played superbly by Phillippa Mills) who goes to Harvard to pursue love, but instead finds herself, fresh love, and a new direction. It’s a great script by Heather Hack, alongside fantastic music and lyrics from Laurence O’Keefe and Neil Benjamin. And one of the main plusses is that Legally Blonde is filled with strong characters. In these, Adam Gregory excelled as Emmett while Charlotte Simcox shone in the role of Paulette. Her main number, Ireland, is such a good (tongue in cheek) number and always raises a laugh, as it did on this occasion.

Then we had the villain of the piece in Professor Callaghan with Chris Parry delivering a top-drawer performance in stage presence and during Blood on the Water. Also starring was Adam Merrall as Warner who cruelly dumps Elle at the beginning of the show during Serious. Then we had Stacey Ward (Vivienne), Charlottle Trigg (Brooke Wyndham) and Emma Wyatt (Enid Hoops). Supporting too, were Hattie Parry (Pilar), Louise Hewitt (Serena) and Claire Goodwin (Margot) – The Greek Chorus of Delta Nu. As I have said, it was a large cast, so I can’t name everyone. However, as I was needled the last time I reviewed this show for ignoring the dogs, on this occasion they were Humphrey and Stan. They behaved well.

Legally Blonde has terrific numbers: Positive, So Much Better, What You Want, Bend and Snap and the title song, Legally Blonde (of which there are two equally good versions). However, my favourite is still the glorious There! Right There!

All shows need a good production team and Legally Blonde had theirs with Kelly Tye and Richard Tye (Directors), Alex Priestly (Musical Director) and Alex Woolliscroft (Choreography).

The last couple of years have been hard on theatre and local amateur companies. It was, therefore, a joy to see the audience appreciate the challenging work of cast and crew and display as much enjoyment as those on stage.

Theatre is back.


Antony N Britt

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