Mama Mayhem

Has my childhood horror come back to haunt me?

By Ivy Jensen


You guessed it baby. My musical dream has come true.

Well, one of them at least.

Echuca-Moama Theatre Company has announced next year’s production will be Little Shop of Horrors.

A childhood favourite of mine, thanks to its Motown-like tunes, dark humour and puppets (I’m a Jim Henson tragic).

And since starring as business woman 2 and flower shop customer 4 in our high school rendition of the musical, I have been dying to do it again.

Preferably with a bit more stage time.

So my fantasy has been 26 years incubating to become a reality in 2020.

Well half of it anyway. I haven’t got a role yet and with only about four female lead roles up for grabs it’s not looking good.

Unless I want to be business woman 2 again. I did rock that role if I remember correctly.

There were about six businessmen and women and we had this highly stylised routine where we came striding in from the wings with our briefcases.

We would take a few steps, stop and look at our watches at the same time and then repeat the actions before setting down our briefcases simultaneously and snapping the lock open to reveal a newspaper which we would read and place back inside and stride off again.

Kind of hard to explain but it looked very effective on stage.

Anyhoo, one of my best friends (aka business woman 1) was in front of me and one night I thought it would be a hoot to change the numbers on her briefcase lock so she couldn’t open it at that crucial moment.

I almost wet my pants on stage when, in my peripheral vision (because I’m a professional actor), I saw her struggling to get the lock open as her face grew red with rage, and I got in deep trouble but it was so worth it for the 25 years of amusement I have received when I think back on this moment.

Good memories.

Obviously I have matured slightly since I was 15, so the director (who you can read all about in Wednesday's Riv) can be assured this will not be reprised.

My previous attempts at sabotage may have been due to the fact I didn’t get the role I wanted.

I tried out for one of three street urchins (Crystal, Ronette and Chiffon) but was outdone by a girl two years older than me. Yes, she may have had the voice of an angel, but I’m pretty sure it was because she was just “more mature” than me.

Now, while we all know singing is not my strong suit, I’m going to give it another crack.

One, because I don’t give up when I fail, and two, because failure is not an option.

But seriously, either way it won’t matter because it turns out I will be involved in the show no matter what happens.

Why, you ask? Well, because (drum roll please) I am proud to announce that I, along with Lesley Summers, will be co-production managers.

Yes, Lesley and I didn’t kill each other while directing Jungle Book so we will be joining together again to essentially boss people around.

And that is something we’re both good at.