TFTR Productions, Crestwood Theatre, Kingswinford
Third From The Right Productions Ltd. are an amateur theatre company based in the West Midlands; and was formed to “bring high quality lesser known dramatic and musical theatre productions to a wider audience”. Disenchanted! is part of the company’s 2018 sassitude tour.
Disenchanted! opened off Broadway in 2014 where it ran successfully until 2015.
With a book, music and lyrics by Dennis T. Giacino, Disenchanted! the musical is a cabaret style piece which aims to break the stereotypes associated with the princesses created by the animated films of Walt Disney. Using songs to tell their individual stories each princess discloses to the audience if they really did live happily ever after.
Director Jez Luckins and assistant director and choreographer Gaynor Whitehouse have created a piece of theatre that is full of energy, attitude, sassitude and humour.
Musical director Chris Corcoran and musicians Dave Wiles and Alexia Barbera deliver the “pop meets Broadway” score with precision and professionalism. The catchy songs are the perfect fusion of pop music meets Broadway, the witty lyrics carry a powerful message about accepting yourself as you are. This is contrary to the messages conveyed to little girls by these animated stories.
Costumes have key identifiable pieces relating to the familiar characters of the stories that we know so well. Disenchanted! features some of Disney’s most iconic princesses. From Princess Jasmine and Belle to The Little Mermaid and Sleeping Beauty, these are just a few of the princesses that reveal all in this laugh out loud production.
Mistress of ceremonies for the production is Snow White, who oversees the evening, played with great comedic timing by the very talented Natalie Baggott. Assisted by Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, Snow White rips apart the stereotypes associated with each princess and their stories.
As each princess is introduced, images of each cast member in costume are imposed into a still picture or background associated with the animated films, which is projected on to screens at the back and either side of the stage.
This is an outstanding female cast who take ownership of this excellent material and deliver their solo pieces with humour and power.
Cinderella is portrayed as a ditzy blond by accomplished Jo Foley who complains of how Disney’s portrayal of woman means princesses are expected to “have a waist the same size as their neck” in All I want to do is eat.
Gillian Homer as Pocahontas delivered her ballad Honestly with both wit and emotion with her beautiful voice, which resulted in a very moving performance. Mulan played by Amy Pearson, with skilful comedic delivery, asks the audience why wasn’t she given a romantic story line with her solo Without the guy.
The extremely sleepy Sleeping Beauty, played by talented Gaynor Whitehouse, constantly misses her cue for her number as she keeps nodding off to sleep. Her solo Perfect tells the audience to love yourself just the way that you are.
Kaz Luckins who was both Rapunzel and Princess who kissed a frog commanded the stage and audience with Not v’one red cent, with the audience getting involved when prompted which made for a hilarious sing along.
Sarah Coussens gives a very strong performance as the “rock chick”, beer swigging, drunken Little Mermaid, who reveals in the song Two legs her resentment on having to give up her life under the sea in order to marry a Prince called Eric.
One of our favourite performances of the evening was given by Kerry Davies as straight jacket clad Princess Belle who through the song Insane!, tells the audience how she has been driven mad after living in a house of singing objects. Davies delivered for us one of the best comedic performances we have seen so far this year; reducing both us and the audience around us into fits of uncontrollable laughter.
Performed with humour, enthusiasm and sass by this very talented cast, Disenchanted! is a clever, innovative, not for children, amusing piece of theatre that breaks the dated representation of gender portrayed in Disney films.
We look forward to the next production from TFTR productions who have delivered one of our favourite amateur dramatic productions of the year so far!
Disenchanted! was at Crestwood Theatre Kingswinford on the 27th and 28th of July and at will be at the Blue Orange Theatre in Birmingham in August.
MT and DT
Female force and sassitude galore
We say: “This 5* TFTR production of Disenchanted! is full of sass, humour and female power which is delivered by an extremely talented cast! Disenchanted! is our spirit animal musical!”