The Little Mermaid is a stage musical produced by Disney Theatrical, based on the animated 1989 Disney film of the same name and the classic story by Hans Christian Anderson. With music by Academy Award winner, Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater and book by Doug Wright, the musical tells the classic story about a mermaid who dreams of a life beyond the sea.
Producer and Choreographer Zoe Russell with Musical Director Nick Jeavons present the local premiere of Disney’s The Little Mermaid by the award winning Quarry Bank Musical Theatre Society (Youth) at Stourbridge Town Hall. A favourite Disney classic combined with a locally renowned youth company had us expecting the best. The production dazzles from the start as the vibrant costumes (Molly Limpet’s Theatrical Emporium Ltd) and artistic make-up (Paul Herrington & Amy Pearson) transport the audience to the enchanting world under the sea. The make-up design for Flounder, Ariel’s best friend, was particularly a stand out on the night and refreshing to see on a small stage.
This company delivered a charming version of this musical, helped by excellent casting choices for the principle roles. Our favourite mermaid, Ariel, played by Heather Hadley was the perfect mixture of rebellious and sweet, delivering the iconic Part of Your World with power and sensitivity. The chemistry between Ariel and her Prince Eric, Alex Brettell, was indisputable especially during the beautifully choregraphed dance scenes in Act Two. Prince Eric, Alex Brettell, shone in his performance of Her Voice and King Triton, Joe Neale, had a strong stage presence as the Sea King. The popular Disney characters, Flounder, Katie Tranter, and Sebastian, Luey Pearce were some of my favourite performances of the night as both delivered charismatic performances of the beloved creatures. Every Disney classic has to have an evil villain, and Isabella Cook delivered us the perfect Ursula in this production. Her rendition of Poor Unfortunate Souls was powerful and she captured the essence of Ursula with ease. Other favourite performances for me were Ursula’s sidekicks, Flotsam (Robyn Harding) and Jetsam (Thea Lowe), combined with the performance of Isabella Cook made for a deadly show stealing trio.
The entire cast of this show brought energy and comedy to this fun script and ensemble numbers. Kiss The Girl and Under The Sea were some of my favourite chorus numbers that I’ve seen this year in local theatre, making me grin from ear to ear, as every member of the cast gave 100% to their performance. The addition of the younger members of the company to these numbers really elevated the charm of this production.
This was the first time seeing the musical version of The Little Mermaid and I am glad it was with this talented youth company. It is no surprise that they are multi-award winning as this company continue to deliver quality productions which are packed to the brim with undeniably talented youth.