Little Shop of Horrors – Audrey Speaks! Part 1 – Maria Jarvis

Towards the end of this term RIC Theatre Company presented Little Shop of Horrors at Chatham Central Theatre for 2 sold out nights. Audrey was played by Maria Jarvis on the first night and Millie Bevan on the second. In 2 parts, Maria and Millie recount their experiences of being part of RIC Theatre Company’s most successful show to date.

“This term, we were finally able to put on our production of Little Shop of Horrors, after it being postponed back in 2020 due to Covid lockdowns. I have found the whole experience stressful, wonderful, and thrilling. We had to recast a lot of the characters, except Seymour and Audrey, due to people having finished their time at RIC, so when we started rehearsals everyone knew different parts of the play. Some people knew it very well, and others had no idea what the play was about. The constant rehearsals were tiring at times, especially as a lot of the main cast have a levels coming up and I was trying to keep up with my coursework as well as working on mannerisms for Audrey. The whole cast were supportive of each other throughout this year, whether it was someone having trouble with lines, or needing to take a break for work, it was lovely to see a community grow from multiple year groups, and all from one show!

Having a week in the theatre was amazing, getting to work with the tech crew and puppets was really exciting, and it was at this point that everyone sort of realised we’d actually got to the point where we’d be performing to an audience. We lost our bass player to covid (he’s alright now!) so we had to find a replacement who could learn the songs and cues in a couple of days- thank goodness we had Rob who managed to get his friend who was amazing on Bass. Tech runs started with the lights the day before the performance. Then Wednesday morning, dress rehearsal, when I discovered multiple quick changes (one of which was only one verse of a song!) which increased my nerves a little bit. 

However, once we hit dinner time, and I sat watching everyone else eat, the adrenaline started hitting me, and I was already immensely proud of everyone in the room. 

The performance itself feels unreal, and for a few days I was completely euphoric, unable to believe that we’d done such a massive performance and pulled it off with minor problems (except my mic pack coming out on the middle of a song, and Bens leather jacket going missing!) Everyone did so well, and I couldn’t be prouder of everyone involved- from the teachers to the ensemble. Before even returning to school, the compliments from teachers, peers and families surrounded us- quite literally in my case as a few friends snuck in backstage to congratulate me and the cast! 

So if you saw the play, or were part of it, thank you- for making mine, and my classmates 2022 play at RIC so memorable.”

Maria Jarvis

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