The Little Shop of Horrors Redubbed

Rialto, Newmarket, Auckland

12/03/2011 - 13/03/2011

Auckland Fringe 2011

Production Details

Back by popular demand, Two Dog Productions is proud to present the return of The Little Shop of Horrors Redubbed. Nominated for ‘Best Comedy’ at the Wellington & Dunedin 2007 Fringe, it is now Auckland’s turn to experience this cleaver ensemble that is guaranteed to amuse all, shock some and arouse even your Aunt Mable.

“I knew the film and had directed the stage musical of Little Shop but I wasn’t prepared for the sheer hilarity of this wonderfully executed version.” Murray Lynch, NZ Drama School.

If you liked the Aussie cult classic Hercules Returns then this is for you.

Roger Corman’s Little Shop of Horrors was made in just a few days with leftover cast, crew and studio space from Corman’s last film Buckets of Blood. This film came about when the writer’s drunken brother dared him to write a script in a night! The tale centres round a skid-row flower shop and the arrival of an alien plant with a dodgy appetite. It also briefly features the young Jack Nicholson as a dentist’s masochistic patient. However…

Two Dog Productions has taken this classic and translated it into a modern NZ urban production. It’s a fusion of film, live dialogue and foley, a Radioplay with cinematic experience if you will. Accents are distinctly local, language sharp and various long-hidden sub-texts and character motivations of the original revealed. 

Mushnik’s Flower Shop is not really selling flowers, Seymour’s mother is not really his mother, and would someone please tell Jack Nicholson that the line between pleasure and pain is longer than he thinks. “These Diva-licious performers would pry the tightest of virgin lips to laughing! Their personalities are contagious.”

May this production bring a lump to your throat and possibly your pants… 
Dates: Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th March, 10:30pm
Venue: Rialto, Newmarket 
Tickets: $20 full, $17 concession/group and available at  

1hr 30min, no interval

Too much too thin despite playful sense of anarchy

Review by Stephen Austin 14th Mar 2011

Riffing, ripping-off and homaging films has been a bit of a mainstay of popular culture since MTV pioneered it back in the early 90s, with their humorous reinventions of 70s Shaw Brothers kung-fu, re-voiced and re-mixed by hip-hop stars. The likes of Australian cult film Hercules Returns and American cable TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000 championed it and made the lampooning of obscure cinema from forgotten areas of cinema in the twentieth century an acceptable way to watch movies and have a laugh at the general state of much of the cheapness of it all. 

Two Dog productions have chosen Roger Corman’s well-known swiftly-made b-grade cheapie, Little Shop of Horrors to give this treatment to, with live actors and a foley artist trying to keep up with the action and adding their own bent to the story of Mushnick’s flower shop. 

Instead of just normal flowers, the story that is injected here is very loosely fashioned around Seymour working in the store as a cover for Mushnick’s drug dealings. There are minimal side-plots involving alcoholism, sexual fetishes and Jack Nicholson’s career since this film was made.

The cast make little effort to match their dialogue with the on-screen action or lip-movements, instead riffing on the concept that they’ve given themselves. This is fun for a while but soon gets a bit tired, especially considering there is even less of a plot than the original, in the semi-improvised new version they have concocted. Even Foley seemed a step behind much of the action and too quiet (especially footfalls), where the show could well have used the punctuation to get the laughs just right. 

What this production does get right, is its playful sense of anarchy and a sincere desire to connect with its audience, which is illustrates especially well as the cast chase each other around the auditorium echoing the action on-screen.

Clarity and accents from the actors were very clear and well sustained throughout – including the spot-on delivery of a heavily-drawled Jack Nicholson, in-jokes and all. 

There were also a couple of fourth wall breaking moments that nearly brought the house down too, that could really be explored further, so that future productions from this company don’t fall into the same formula. 

Unfortunately, as fun a time as much of the audience has, it all just seems like an extended sketch from Whose Line Is It Anyway that goes on about 60 minutes too long with very little meat on its bones.

This review kindly supported by The James Wallace Arts Trust

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