Getting your first big role on stage can be nerve wracking for any young performer, but James Bradbury will have some home comforts as he stars in the Portsmouth Players’ Little Shop of Horrors alongside his father and girlfriend.
Running from tonight until Saturday at the City of Portsmouth Boys’ School, Hilsea, James plays the geeky shop assistant Seymour.
He acquires a mysterious plant – Audrey –that looks like a Venus fly trap, but the problem is it only feeds on one thing – human blood.
James, 21, says: ‘My dad is playing the adoptive father in the show which is quite surreal.
‘It’s strange to work alongside him, especially when Mr Mushnik and Seymour have a dance they do together.
‘My partner is also in it as one of the Ronettes, so it’s a bit of a family orientated show for me.
‘It just kind of happened that way.’
He adds: ‘We all turned up to audition and because the Portsmouth Players is quite a big society we didn’t think we would all get in. There’s only about 10 people in the cast so we were all pretty shocked when our names were read out.
‘We were gobsmacked really.’
Having been with the Portsmouth Players since he was a child, James has had one-line or minor parts, but this is his first major role with the group.
‘We’ve done quite a bit on the Little Shop of Horrors at college with people singing songs from it for their exams.
‘And I’m also quite good at playing the geeky character. It’s a really brilliant part too.
‘It has great songs and I’m on the stage for a lot of it. It’s exciting and challenging for me.’
Considering he will be performing to hundreds of people, James is relatively calm about the prospect – it’s his dream job.
‘I would like to be in the West End because that’s a career path I’ve always dreamed of following. Hopefully this is the first step of getting into that.’
Being part of such a small cast does mean a lot more time rehearsing, as James explains: ‘We can have one-on-one sessions with the director Ian Good and we can run through various scenes with just me and Audrey.
‘It’s been really helpful in getting ready for the show.’
Tickets: £12 on (07731) 586143.