A new flower shop has opened in Watford town centre – but you might want to buy your blooms from somewhere else, lest you don’t make it home from the Little Shop of Horrors.

For its latest production, Watford Operatic Society has transformed the Palace Theatre into Mushnik’s Flower Shop, the central location of this musical tale about a botanical genius who inadvertently raises a blood-thirsty plant.

Seymour (Gareth Edwards) and Audrey (Louisa Stevens) work together at a Skid Row flower shop owned by Mr Mushnik (Howard Salinger). But when times get tough and the shop is forced to close, Audrey suggests displaying a rare and exotic plant kept by Seymour that immediately attracts new customers.

When the plant – named Audrey II – begins dying, Seymour discovers it needs human blood to live. Then begins his attempts to balance his new found celebrity with keeping the plant alive, and winning the heart of Audrey from her sadistic dentist boyfriend (Russell Stratton).

From the first notes of the opening number, entitled Little Shop of Horrors, the performance never misses a beat, drenched throughout in a New York drawl.

The show is well cast, with Edwards and Stevens particularly strong as the shy, geeky shop assistant and the woman he hoped to save from her abusive relationship.

The boyfriend in question, Orin Scrivello, is brought to terrifying life by Russell Stratton whose solo musical number, which introduces the audience to his unique brand of dentistry, is one of the highlights of the show.

A trio of street urchins, played by Joanne Goddard, Kerry Lee and Kathleen Paynter, serves as guides throughout the story, while Adam Feighoney proves particularly versatile in no less than five different roles.

Of course, it would just be a Little Shop without the Horrors if it wasn’t for the skills of puppeteers (Sean Lovell, Jessica Rufey, Jeni Bolitho-Jones) who bring the iconic Audrey II to life, alongside the voice of Colin McLeod.

In the hands of director Matthew Fowler and musical director Susana Tierney, and with strong singing across the board, this is a hugely enjoyable show that serves as a faithful recreation of the hit Broadway musical comedy.

Michael Pickard Until Saturday, May 17