FEED me with theatrical talent! Feed me now!

'Ok, ok', say the Summer Youth Project cast and crew, who have been working their talented socks off over less than a fortnight people, to bring you the hit musical stage production of Little Shop of Horrors.

It opens tomorrow night - Thursday, August 9 - at the Palace Theatre, Westcliff.

Over the 11 years the project has been running, it has gained a credible reputation, not least thanks to longstanding director Marc Mollica, a stalwart professional who has a knack of pulling out the best and instilling absolute professionalism into the young team.

The cast this year features previous Summer Youth Project participants, Milli-Mae Cage and Michael Bowyer, taking on lead roles for the first time as Seymour and Audrey, and an ensemble of over 60 young people.

Many past participants have gone on to work professionally in the west-end and in television.

Janet Robinson, 68, is a regular audience member who travels from Romford especially to see the Summer Youth Project productions.

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She said: "This will be the fifth year running I have been to watch the summer theatre shows put on by the youngsters in the SYP.

"I started to come because my grandson, who lives in Westcliff, appeared in the chorus in a show, and I was so impressed I've come every year since. I have never ceased to be absolutely blown away by them, not only because of the truly talented youngsters in the show, but the fact they put this on in less than two weeks.

"I can honestly say the standard is always incredible and as good as - if not better than - any West End production I have seen, and I go to a lot of shows in London."

The Summer Youth Project is open to anyone aged nine to 19 and is a great opportunity to work with a professional creative team, either on stage or as part of the technical crew.

The two week project culminates in six performances at the renowned theatre in London Road, Westcliff.

A spokesman for Southend Theatres, said: "This year’s project culminates in six performances of the deviously delicious sci-fi smash musical, Little Shop of Horrors!

"It's a charmingly tongue in cheek comedy about a hapless florist shop worker who raises a plant that feeds on human blood."

With an electrifying 1960s pop-rock score, Little Shop of Horrors has become one of the most popular shows in the world.

The performances run until Sunday August 12, including matinees, at the Palace Theatre.

Tickets are £15, £14 or £13.50 and £12.50 for concessions, available from southendtheatres.org.uk or calling the box office on 01702 351135.