Former Gamesmaster to play the ‘Voice of God’.

 

skyatnight_moore2Britain’s favourite stargazer, Sir Patrick Moore, is to ‘star’ in the musical Little Shop of Horrors this week.

 

The veteran astronomer will play the ‘Voice of God’ in the Brighton-based City Theatre Company’s production at the Barn Theatre, Southwick.   

 

The show tells the story of down-and-out florist’s assistant Seymour who becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a craving for fresh blood.

 

In CTC’s version of the musical, the ‘Voice of God’ is a 1950s newsreader mysteriously appearing on a television dumped in a trash can.   

 

Sir Patrick, 85, will not appear on stage in person each night.  Instead his part has already been filmed in the study at his home in Selsey, from which he broadcasts the long-running BBC favourite The Sky at Night.

 

He said:  “I love the stage.  I’ve been on it more times than I care to count, but I’m not very mobile these days.  If I was, I’d probably be out there rehearsing for the local pantomime as we speak.  As it was, the company had to come to me.”

 

The director of the show, Andy Stoner, said it was brilliant to be able to secure the performance.  “Patrick Moore kept popping into my head for some reason as the person I’d like the character to look and sound like,” he said.

 

“I thought I’d chance my arm and write to him to see if he’d do it and lo and behold he rang me up at work.  I was really taken aback at first, because he has one of those voices that you know who he is instantaneously.

 

“I was a bit worried when we got there because he’d lost the script I sent him, so I thought we’d be hanging around for ages while he learned his part. But he got the script, read it for about a minute, chatted to me for a while and then we filmed it and it was perfect first time.  He’s absolutely amazing – so professional.”

 

Sir Patrick has not yet seen the results of his performance.  Stoner said:   “He’s coming to see the show.  I hope he’s happy with his performance.  I’m sure he will be – we certainly are.”

 

Sir Patrick will appear alongside the other star of the show, Audrey II, the plant the company are making from scratch.  There will, in fact, be four Audrey puppets of different sizes to represent the plant growing to outrageous proportions.  They range from the smallest, a hand puppet, to the fourth, which is huge and has six people operating it, with two people dressed as roots crawling out at the bottom. 

 

Stoner said:  “It’s a big risk designing them ourselves but we’re all really pleased with the way they’ve turned out.  We’ve really tried to inject some personality into them.  They look as though they could really eat somebody.”

 

Audrey II and Sir Patrick Moore can be seen at the Barn Theatre, Southwick from 25th to 29th November.  Tickets are available from the Barn box office, tel: 01273 592 819.

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