Live Live Cinema Review

Apparently the previous Live Live Cinema performances were too easy!

Leon Radojkovic and Oliver Driver are back to present another 4-D movie, this time tackling Roger Corman’s 1960 horror-comedy Little Shop of Horrors. As with their previous productions, all dialogue, music and sound effects are created live in the theatre. This time however, rather than using separate teams of actors, musicians and Foley artists, everything is handled by just a group of four. Byron Coll, Barnie Duncan, Laughton Kora and Hayley Sproull. They play the score, create the sounds and dub the voices. All at once.

The stage is littered with props – balloons, stoves, umbrellas, corn flakes and bells that hang from the ceiling. It’s not unusual for the cast to run from one side of the stage to another, in the middle of playing an instrument and voice one of their half dozen characters, to bang the right pot at the right time.

The performers frequently are forced to swap positions and instruments, and all do so without ever seeming nervous of worried. They appear at all times to be genuinely having fun – the jokes result in laughter from the audience, the mistakes in laughter from the cast. It’s a thrill to watch.

The chaos of it all can admittedly be overwhelming at times. This show is busy, with cast members darting around the stage, props flying, all beneath a projected Corman classic. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t take me a scene or two just figure out just how I’m supposed to be watching. Attempting to follow the film at the wrong time can mean missing hilarious details onstage. Even then, you risk watching the wrong performer. But if you’re here to try and watch Little Shop of Horrors for the plot, you’re probably missing the point – and I shouldn’t complain about having too many entertaining people to watch.

See Live Live Cinema: Little Shop of Horrors in Auckland at the Herald Theatre from the 13-24May.

Reviewed by Liam Golds.

4.5 stars