The Little Mermaid review

Exeter Northcott, April 2018 

Review by India Nye 

What do you get if you merged athletism with musical theatre? An outstanding production by Metta Theatre of The Little Mermaid! It’s a classic story, intertwined with acrobatics and never-heard-before songs. The performers, exceptionally skilled acrobats, sang, acted and played instruments sometimes hanging upside down and spinning on a harness, something at which the Mermaid, Curious (Aelfwyn Shipton) excelled. The music was fun, easy-listening and gave the characters more personality than the dialogue. And the show mixed romance and comedy into a heart-stopping spectacle. 

The superb choreography utilises the performers' incredible strength and stability as they swing from elevated hoops, throw each other around the stage and use physical theatre to make the experience unlike any other. The men lead the way: firm foundations as the show soars. The scenes in which there’s no dialogue and thus is pure movement is mesmerising, but not quite as impressive as watching the performers sing while performing nail-biting acts. 

Each character plays multiple roles. The mermaid’s sisters, played by men, embraced their femininity. Rosaline Ford is exceptional as the mother figure. Careful, showing a caring but stern side, juxtaposed a comedic role as the palace tailor; absurd and exuberant. Josh Frazer is a master of physicality playing the sea witch, (voiced off screen by Shirley Darroch), an evil being controlling a gigantic hula-hoop. 

The Little Mermaid is a must-see, child-friendly and perfect for the whole family: a beautiful and action-packed spectacle.

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