Preview – Little Shop of Horrors

David Knowles previews this week’s Hild Bede musical, Little Shop of Horrors

Caedmon Hall Charlie Oulton hild bede Musical

David Knowles task to Director Charlie Oulton,


Charlie, why did you volunteer to direct Little Shop of Horrors?

I’ve always found it very easy to mock musicals as a form of theatre, but this show is impossible to dislike. Setting aside the insanely brilliant story; the music, characters, and general atmosphere of the show are without match. It was an opportunity that would have been ridiculous to pass on.

For those of us who are unfamiliar, can you summarise the story?

Well… At the heart of the show is a love story between two people who work in a florists shop in a run down area of town. With the business about to go under, the hapless lead tries one last marketing ploy and uses a new breed of plant to try and draw the customers in. But, it’s not too long before we discover that this is no ordinary plant, and that Seymour and Audrey have more than one obstacle to overcome if they want to be together. Simply put, it wants to be fed human meat.

What's your favourite moment in the show?

I think everyone’s favourite is the part we performed at the D’Aftas (and for which we won an award, I might add), when the Plant reveals that it can talk, and that it wants to be fed more blood. Hannah Cope’s characterization of its voice is fantastic, and our puppeteer (Will Hannam) is developing some fantastic mannerisms all the time. That said, there isn’t a single moment in the show where I’m waiting for us to get to my next favourite bit. Everything’s so much fun!

How on earth are you creating the man eating plant on stage?

We hired in the puppets from a company who do professional theatre sets. I’ll admit, I did not anticipate how incredible they would look; so, when they arrived on Monday I had to spend a good hour having a play with them. Even having people disappear down the Plant’s throat looks fantastic and is surprisingly easy when you get to use professional equipment.

What's the best reason you can think why Durham students should come and see the show?

HBT are so lucky to have the opportunity to put on a show as amazing as Little Shop of Horrors. I cannot stress enough how cool, fun, and also moving, this show can be. Forgetting the enormously ambitious plants that we’ve hired, this show could carry itself purely on the work of the actors and musicians. It would be the biggest waste not to share this show with as many people as possible. Moreover, I guarantee that anyone who doesn’t see it will seriously regret it. This show will be a talking point around Durham for a while! So, with that in mind, get booking tickets before they sell out…



Show dates:
Wednesday 29th Feb – 7.30pm
Thursday 1st March – 7.30pm
Friday 2nd March – 7.30pm
Saturday 3rd March – 7.30pm

Caedmon Hall, Hild Bede

Ticket prices:
£6 (Full), £5.50 (Student), £5 (HBT/DST)