Metta theatre’s The Little Mermaid at the Underbelly Festival is skilful, charming, and lyrically beautiful in music and movement, economically directed by Burton Morgan.
Every performer displays bucket-loads of charisma, musical talent and quite sublime circus skills in The Little Mermiad. Even if you don’t have a child to entertain, you can’t fail to be utterly entranced by this delightful, splashy sisterhood.
The Little Mermaid is a tame show, neither hilarious or moving but gently soothing – childlike in form and function. Off-script jokes and commentary on the narrative choices would allow for a feminist retelling to thread through the work which, at present, is lacking.
At first, Metta Theatre’s Little Mermaid may seem like a simplified interpretation of the Hans Christian Andersen classic, but beneath the surface lies a magical concoction of trapeze, aerial, and acrobatics. This beautiful reinvention of the popular tale presents the perfect mixture of expression through movement and vocals, whilst being engaging for all ages.
Writer Bea Roberts has subtly altered the tale within the overall framework, and as a result, you watch it not knowing exactly where it is going to end up. A happy ending is likely guaranteed.
Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic story, The Little Mermaid follows Marilla’s journey from mermaid to human as she sacrifices her life in the ocean in an attempt to be with the one that she loves Prince Adair.
The staging and costumes are stunning, with the colours and fabrics perfectly reflecting the magical dwellers of the sea and the hard solid land. Absolutely transporting the audience to the ethereal reflective underwater world.
I have eagerly anticipated this production since its announcement last year and after the glimpse of the livestream rehearsal The Little Mermaid, Beneath the Surface (still available on YouTube).
Designing Side Show has been a blessing and a challenge at the same time. A blessing, as the audience have an inclusive, immersive experience of a freak/vaudeville show and are able to observe closely the life journey of (the real life conjoined twins) Violet and Daisy Hilton played extraordinarily by Laura Pitt-Pulford and Louise Dearman.
With Aladdin starting performances in the West End next week, Love London Love Culture can’t help but wonder what will be the next Disney film to be turned into a musical?