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In original Stage Show Crew Jacket. It was 1984
 



I was very lucky to get to puppeteer the plant 'Audrey II' in the London West End Production of 'Little Shop of Horrors' it was the 'big break' that got me into puppeteering in the first place and it also got me cast as a principal puppeteer in Frank Oz's Feature Film of the Musical.
'Little Shop of Horrors the Movie' filmed at Pinewood studios England.
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The look of the plant in the film was a secret then so this is one of the few pic's I have from the Movie.
 Though I think this scene was cut.
The Final version of the Plant Audrey II.


It was my role to perform the head movements. I did this from behind the Plant using a 'pole arm'.



Marcus Clarke operating Pole Arm



 



Click here to see Video Clip
I practiced and practiced the curtain call, balancing the bottom jaw steadily on my thighs and thrusting like mad to open the top jaw as quickly as possible to achieve a 'da da' followed by a friendly assured smile and wave to the audience.
But having spent most of the show in semi-darkness the top jaw opening simply revealed a dazzling array of lights to me.
Exhausted and momentarily blinded I would quickly lose my balance and teeter around with the 200lbs of the Audrey II lolling and bashing about while I stumbled and wrestled to regain control of it.
I spent all the curtain calls I can remember simply trying to just stand upright.
Gary Martin who performed the voice so brilliantly, dashed to my aid on some of my more desperate occasions lending his substantial strength to hold the Plant upright for me.






Here I am looking at the 'Audrey II' final scene puppet in the quiet stillness of the day.
It's still the biggest, heaviest Puppet I've ever performed.
The 'Get it' Plant on the left, parked up with leaves upright was a long still wait inside through the first few scenes and then a full energy flat out race with Seymour and the band to the lyric, 'so go get it! Draining but a great experience.



Above
The London West End Comedy Theatre Production of 'Little Shop of Horrors' during Rehearsals.
I'm patiently waiting inside the 'plant' for my cue.

Below
I used a few tape marks on the stage so that inside the plant I could look down at them if need be to check my position during the Show.
I would change them about as need be and a quick run through of the other Performers positions was all that was needed occasionally to keep them accurate and up to date.
These marks were actually really helpful especially when I was disoriented or really tired