Disney's The Little Mermaid
|Date||25th March 2017|
|Venue||Saltash.net Community School|
|Type of Production||Musical|
|Director||Jaq Kevern & Alison Hill|
|Musical Director||Heidi Walsh|
Author: Nick Lawrence - Councillor
As one of the Disney shows available for young people to perform “The Little Mermaid” Jnr., is a delightful piece with plenty for everyone: both performers and audience. Page2Stage Production Team certainly saw to it that the cast members were effectively used. There was plenty for everyone to do and the members responded with some very enjoyable portrayals. The interaction between the Production Team and the actors was obvious in the way that the cast owned their roles. Everyone entered into the spirit of the piece and contributed his/her own interpretation. What was particularly praiseworthy was that although individual excellence was obvious everyone worked together to present a wholeness often missing from such elaborate productions. Very impressive was the way everyone remained in character while working on the fringes and in the aisles. It can be quite intimidating having the audience so close and obviously so distracting, but I heard some determined singing and enjoyed everyone maintaining their character and continuing the scene until out of sight. Also excellent was the constant movement when under the sea. This is not easy for it can so easily be mistaken for fidgeting which is to be deplored, but in almost every case the gentle swaying caused by the sea’s currents was maintained in a delicate and evocative manner.
Special praise must be heaped upon the Sea Chorus. These six girls worked so hard in every scene maintaining their simple ribbon patterns without visibly tiring. It is hard to keep this up when you are aware that most of the audience’s attention is on some glamorous principal character, but these girls kept going: always taking up artistically placed positions and working as a team to help the audience know where we were. Best of all was their obvious commitment to their part in the whole. Their faces never obviously dropped. These roles were vital to the atmosphere of the whole. They might think they were additional and possibly invisible but without them the story could not have been told.
Combining equally as a team were the Mersisters. Beautifully costumed these girls presented themselves with poise and elegance. Their dance sequences, to which they had contributed ideas, were handled with ease: not too complicated to maintain a unity, nor too simple to become trite. They also did not fall into the trap of only presenting beautiful movement, but contributed strong singing and some nice acting touches.
No one could fail to notice the quirky seagulls. Here again, excellent movement was created which could be maintained by the whole group. One could feel the wind in their wings and every opportunity for comic movement or reaction was seized upon. Due to the large stage when split into two groups they were particularly isolated but appeared to be in time with each other. What a pity that gulls in reality are nowhere near so entertaining.
It is a few years since I was last invited to see this group and it was great to see how things have developed in the meantime. The use of the space has been tightened, lighting and sound were much more creative, the overall performance was more confident and unified, and the ownership and presentation of the youngsters was exemplary. It was good to see the adults and youngsters working so well together.