Hungry for some great theatre? Well do I have the feed for you. UCC Musical Theatre Societies production of Little Shop of Horrors runs for 3 nights from the 31st of March to the 2nd of April in the Smurfit Theatre at Firkin Crane and is sure to be a feast. I had the pleasure to sit in on a rehearsal last week and let me tell you folks, you do not want to miss out. There are two casts for this production, with some cast members performing on the 31st of March and the others on April 1st & 2nd – I watched the March 31st cast.
Director Dillon English and assistant director Isabella Dogliani have sprinkled just enough fertiliser on this 1982 Howard Ashman & Alan Menken spectacle to give it a new lease of life. From curtain up, the 3 cheerful narrators Crystal (Hayley O Connell Vaughan), Ronette (Caoimhe Dunne) and Chiffon (Rachel Fox) set the tone with their powerful ‘Prologue’. All three have a great presence that draws you immediately into the grimy world of Skid Row. Before long the bumbling Seymour Krelborn (played by Fergal Crowley March 31st and Dara Keane April 1st & 2nd) makes his entrance accompanied by Audrey (played by Zoe Allman Walsh March 31st and Sarah Cleary April 1st & 2nd) and Mushnik (Rosie O Byrne). The dynamic between these three is instantly loveable and the banter that ensues had me rolling in my chair. Seymour is played with such a sweet quality that you can’t help but root for him (even when he’s feeding his closest companions to a man-eating plant). The soft spoken Audrey is played with a child-like innocence and her dreamy vocals are on full display in “Somewhere That’s Green”. Mushnik really stole my heart here. With their bubbly movements and stellar facial expressions, I could not look away. The sadistic Dentist (played here by Cormac Noonan March 31st and Luke Maziarek April 1st & 2nd) has a truly haunting quality to his performance. The joker-esque laughs are still ringing in my head a week later (but it could just be the gas). The final piece to this twisted tale is of course Audrey 2, aptly named after Seymour’s love for his co-worker. The plant can talk and this time around it can also, dance and twirl to tell you just how hungry they are. Audrey 2 (played by Susan Burke March 31st and Máirtín Ó Cathasaigh April 1st & 2nd) is infectious and honestly I’d have a hard time not feeding them myself. The reimagining of this role is genius and must be seen to be believed. Rounding out this cast, is an assortment of colourful ensemble members who do an excellent job of moving the narrative along and have some standout moments of their own. Throughout the whole performance I was smiling ear to ear with delight. Little Shop is such a standout and this group does an amazing job of bringing the campy cult classic to life.
Tickets for UCC Musical Theatre Societies Little Shop of Horrors are on sale now at https://firkincrane.ticketsolve.com/shows/1173623744