No Garden-Variety Musical as DCU DramaSoc presents Little Shop of Horrors

Liam Coates

If your idea of fun is feeding your least favourite people to a plant – and why wouldn’t it be – then DCU Drama society has you covered. They’re putting a Zoom flavoured spin on the iconic musical Little Shop of Horrors, directed by Sinéad McMullen.

It’s the story of a failing florist (Mr Mushnik) whose oddball employee (Seymour) discovers a mysterious plant, bringing the shop untold fame. He resorts to ever more bloodthirsty and morally dubious choices to keep the plant thriving, and it gets out of hand fast.

It’s a bit insane then, but as Nathan McDonagh, who plays Seymour, says, “as over the top as the story is, it feels real to the characters.” That, he says, is part of the charm. “It’s cheesy, campy, B-movie material, but I absolutely fell in love with the songs and the show.”

Thomas Guckian, who plays Mr Mushnik, performed it in secondary school, and says for him the eclectic mix of characters are the main draw. “There is such a variety. Orin [Audrey’s boyfriend] is very unique, he’s crazy and evil, but he’s still somebody’s boyfriend. Then you have the uprising of Seymour. There was a lot to think about when I was deciding who to audition for.”

Aisling Kelly, playing the vulnerable love interest Audrey, says Ariana Grande sparked her interest in the show initially. “When she did the carpool karaoke with ‘Suddenly Seymour’ that was my introduction to it – I got obsessed with it. So, I said I have to go for it.”

When it comes to acting over Zoom, Thomas says it was often a challenge but there were unexpected upsides too. “It actually gives us more of an opportunity to be creative in how we act out scenes, we can put our own spin on it.”

Nathan agrees. “We actually used Zoom to our advantage. There are a few moments where characters get grabbed from off-screen, which was a lot of fun for us to work that out.”

Another quirk of Zoom is that everyone had to be their own set designer and gather their own greenery. Sure enough, director Sinéad can be seen on YouTube cheerfully stealing ivy from somebody else’s wall. Perhaps emblematic of the show itself – morally questionable but darkly entertaining.

Certainly then, this is not your everyday rosy musical. It’s an offbeat, charming tale with a soundtrack stuffed with catchy earworms. If that sounds like something you’d wrap your tendrils around, check out what the team have put together.

Little Shop of Horrors is streaming live on YouTube on the 6th, 7th and 8th April at 7:30. Tickets are available from the link below for €5: 

Liam Coates

Image Credit: DCU Drama