It may be a decade in the making, but Little Shop of Horrors is finally coming to Nelson – with a little help from a world in flux.
With no international travel, an impressive line-up of locals has become available to put on the Broadway sci-fi smash musical at the Nelson Musical Theatre later this month.
“We wouldn’t be able to do this show if it wasn’t for Covid-19,” says director Jane Baken.
“Robbie Burns [president of Nelson Musical Theatre] and I have talked about doing it for ten years, but it’s never worked out with my travel between New Zealand and Australia.”
Jane says it’s also meant they’ve been able to attract the talents of some incredible local professional performers.
Headlining the show is Laura Irish, who was meant to be in Los Angeles progressing her performance career, and former Nelsonian of the Year, Dan Allan, who was meant to be in another show that was cancelled.
It will also be Dan’s last show in Nelson before he moves to Christchurch.
“Having performers of this calibre putting on a show like this will be a real privilege for Nelson audiences,” Jane says.
Little Shop of Horrors has devoured the hearts of theatre goers for over 30 years, becoming one of the world’s most popular shows.
The theatre will be transformed into a run-down flower shop in the cabaret-style show that will see the audience at tables enjoying platters and drinks.
The story follows floral assistant Seymour Krelborn who stumbles across a new breed of plant he names ‘Audrey II’ after his co-worker crush.
The plant promises him unending fame and fortune as long as he keeps feeding it blood.
“We are on a mission to create a spectacle and the most amazing aspect of the show is the plant, being a very large puppet, which is fully body-operated,” says Jane.
“There are also a number of other special technical moments – we’ve added a number of elements that create a few surprises.”
The cast of nine also features Charles Anderson playing multiple characters, including the dentist.
“He’s just the man of many faces, playing every other minor role – it’s a bit of fun for him,” Jane says.
“We have a really unique bunch of people who have come together to put on something special.”
Little Shop of Horrors runs for three weekends from 19 November to 5 December. Tickets from www.iticket.co.nz