Touring – reviewed at The Lowry
Guest reviewer: Demi West
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.
Little Mermaid is composed of a varied selection of circus arts, which harmoniously collaborate to create a mystical illustration of the classic tale. From elegant yet risky trapeze to nerve-wracking stunts, the variety of skills on display were enough to keep the audience on the edge of their seats, whilst still creating a beautiful presentation. If the spinning bodies and nimble leaps were not enough, the musical talent of the cast members was certain to leave anyone astounded. The blend of classical vocals, string instruments, and seamless acrobatics create the perfect recipe for a contemporary twist on a well-loved fairy tale.
The main and only flaw with this production is that the narrative is that of a familiar one. The story of the Little Mermaid is ripe for this style of production, thus ultimately lends itself perfectly to what unfolds visually. However, it leaves a sense of dissatisfaction as the end product feels ‘safe’ and predictable, as opposed to the effect that adaptations of other fairy tales may have had. Despite this, it was clear to see why Metta Theatre chose to illustrate the Little Mermaid, as the performance style and skills on display were expressed nicely within the narrative.
The performance is without an interval, leaving the audience submerged in the depths of the ocean, as the cast members use the graceful strength of one another to emulate the weightlessness of an underwater setting. This uninterrupted flow of plot allows the audience to experience the story as it runs its course, flawlessly moving between actions as the characters float across the stage. Combined with the running time of seventy minutes, the continuity of Little Mermaid made for the perfect viewing experience for the children in the audience, whilst still being a spectacle that kept adults mesmerised.
This spellbinding production of Little Mermaid is the perfect blend of circus and musical theatre and is the perfect showcase for the talents of the cast. Metta’s production gave a new lease of life to the Little Mermaid story and provides an alternative viewing experience that will keep the little ones entertained throughout.
The Little Mermaid runs at The Lowry until Saturday 14th April 2018.
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