Newcastle school to provide tasty treat with musical

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Lovers of comedy horror are in for a treat when a Fenham school’s latest musical opens this month.

Talented students at Sacred Heart Catholic High School are staging a production of Little Shop of Horrors, which relates the story of unfortunate flower shop employee Seymour, who discovers a carnivorous plant with a taste for human blood.

Based on a low-budget 1960 black comedy, the rock musical features music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman.

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Performances take place at 6pm on 9, 10 and 11 July in the Sacred Heart Auditorium, and over 70 students from Years 8 to 12 at the school are involved, both on and off-stage, as cast and production team members.

Sacred Heart Catholic High School stage production of Little Shop of HorrorsSacred Heart Catholic High School stage production of Little Shop of Horrors
Sacred Heart Catholic High School stage production of Little Shop of Horrors

“Little Shop of Horrors is quirky and darkly comedic, which blends rock, doo-wop and Motown styles,” said Kerrie Palma, Head of Performing Arts at Sacred Heart, which is part of the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust. “Songs such as ‘Somewhere That’s Green’, ‘Suddenly, Seymour’, ‘Dentist!’ and ‘Feed Me (Git It)’ are hugely memorable and catchy.”

“The blend of horror elements with comedy, creates a unique style,” she continued. “The show features a range of brilliantly colourful characters: Seymour Krelbourn, the shy and nerdy flower shop worker; Audrey, Seymour’s kind-hearted but down-on-her-luck love interest; Mr Mushnik, the grumpy owner of the flower shop; and Orin Scrivello, a sadistic dentist.

“A quintet of street urchins serves as a small Greek chorus, who provide commentary and singing backup throughout the show.”

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Amber Saquib, who is in Year 11 at the school, takes the role of Seymour, while other cast members include: Marcella Lamb, also Year 11, as Audrey; Poppy Watkins, Year 12, as Mr Mushnik; and Celia Ruane, also Year 12, as Orin Scrivello.

Sacred Heart Catholic High School stage production of Little Shop of HorrorsSacred Heart Catholic High School stage production of Little Shop of Horrors
Sacred Heart Catholic High School stage production of Little Shop of Horrors

The Urchins are Evie Thompson, Mariam Oguntade, Sophia Menetakis, and Layla-May Brown, all in Year 11, and Amy Rainsforth, in Year 10.

Man-eating plant Audrey II is brought to life through puppetry, and played by Rebecca Kumbi, who is in Year 11.

“Students have been responsible for the making and sourcing of props and costumes, running backstage management, and the puppetry of the plant, Audrey II,” explained Ms Palma. “Audrey II’s growing size and vocal performances are humorous and increasingly intimidating.”

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Tickets for the show are available to the community through the school website and cost £10 for adults and £6 for children, with infants under the age of two expected to sit on laps.

Sacred Heart Catholic High School stage production of Little Shop of HorrorsSacred Heart Catholic High School stage production of Little Shop of Horrors
Sacred Heart Catholic High School stage production of Little Shop of Horrors

“Events like this are incredibly important, offering numerous benefits to both our school and its students,” added Mrs Palma. “These performances foster a sense of community and serve as a fundraiser to support various future arts programmes and initiatives.

“For students, participating in performances promotes teamwork, builds confidence, and enhances their creative performance skills. Additionally, it provides a platform for students to showcase their many amazing talents, gain valuable experience in performing arts, and cultivate a lifelong appreciation for the arts.

“We expect there will be a high demand for tickets and guests, so please book early.”

Little Shop of Horrors is at Sacred Heart, 6pm, 9-11 July.

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