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Comedy horror musical to give Ilford audiences a scare

PUBLISHED: 15:00 10 October 2015 | UPDATED: 13:56 12 October 2015

The Havering Music Makers rehearsing Little Shop of Horrors which is to be performed at the Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford

The Havering Music Makers rehearsing Little Shop of Horrors which is to be performed at the Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford

Archant

Would-be gardeners will have their work cut out for them when an amateur theatre group brings its production of Little Shop of Horrors to the stage.

The Havering Music Makers rehearsing Little Shop of Horrors which is to be performed at the Kenneth More Theatre in IlfordThe Havering Music Makers rehearsing Little Shop of Horrors which is to be performed at the Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford

The comedy-horror-rock musical is set to be staged by the Havering Music Makers at the Kenneth More Theatre, Oakfield Road, Ilford, for three nights and a Sunday matinee.

The show follows Seymour, a shy New Yorker working in a florist’s shop who discovers a man-eating plant while trying to win the affections of his colleague Audrey, bringing fame and fortune to his run-down neighbourhood.

Needless to say, tragedy and hilarity both ensue.

The Recorder caught up with the Music Makers’ Jonathan Sanders and Louise Henderson, who play the show’s romantic leads.

The Havering Music Makers rehearsing Little Shop of Horrors which is to be performed at the Kenneth More Theatre in IlfordThe Havering Music Makers rehearsing Little Shop of Horrors which is to be performed at the Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford

“What I like most about it is that it’s not the sort of glitzy, glamorous musical everyone’s used to,” said Jonathan.

“It’s grittier – and I like that.”

Louise agreed: “Obviously it’s not your normal musical. But there is still a love story within the show.

“And the plant, oh I just can’t wait to see the plant!”

The Havering Music Makers rehearsing Little Shop of Horrors which is to be performed at the Kenneth More Theatre in IlfordThe Havering Music Makers rehearsing Little Shop of Horrors which is to be performed at the Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford

The villain of the piece is the talking, carnivorous plant, named Audrey II as a loving gesture by Seymour.

During the show’s thrilling climax, the 7ft-tall plant dominates the stage, causing mayhem.

The society, based in Romford, prides itself on its welcoming, warm-hearted atmosphere and that is certainly something both the actors have picked up on during their two months of rehearsals.

Jonathan said: “There’s a lovely vibe. It’s a really small cast and everyone gets on well with each other.

The Havering Music Makers rehearsing Little Shop of Horrors which is to be performed at the Kenneth More Theatre in IlfordThe Havering Music Makers rehearsing Little Shop of Horrors which is to be performed at the Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford

“There are no bad attitudes from anyone and we just get on with it.”

Louise was also full of praise for the 10-strong team: “It’s my first show with Havering Music Makers, but it’s a really good cast and we all have a laugh in rehearsals.

“Yes, it can get serious, but it’s still very comical.”

That camaraderie is even more evident when the two actors discuss their task of bringing an on-stage romance to life.

The Havering Music Makers rehearsing Little Shop of Horrors which is to be performed at the Kenneth More Theatre in IlfordThe Havering Music Makers rehearsing Little Shop of Horrors which is to be performed at the Kenneth More Theatre in Ilford

“It’s been really good because it’s been so easy,” Louise said.

“Working alongside each other with the dialogue and the songs and everything... We just clicked straight away.”

Jonathan was also quick to praise his opposite number: “Louise is so great to work with.

“I’m having so much fun. She makes me laugh so much.

“Sometimes on stage I’ve been like, Oh God, I’ve got to work alongside this person, and it can be quite difficult if you don’t have that connection.”

For Jonathan, the Kenneth More Theatre holds a special place in his heart, as he works there.

“Last year I performed 11 different shows here,” he said. “I’m not as nervous as I used to be. I used to physically shake on stage.

“But I love it. It’s basically my second home.”

With the 7ft-tall plant waiting in the wings, the Music Makers’ Little Shop of Horrors is shaping up to be a memorable homecoming for him.

The show is running from October 15-17.

For tickets, visit kmtheatre.co.uk or call 020 8553 4466.


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