The Little Mermaid

Date 24th February 2024
Society Stage One 2000 Musical Youth Theatre
Venue Mosslands School Wallasey
Type of Production Musical
Director Brenda Davies
Musical Director Sian James
Choreographer Alli Bentley-Jones
Producer Brenda Davies
Written By John Musker & Ron Clements

Report

Author: Joanne Rymer

The Little Mermaid

Stage One 2000

24/02/24

 

This show began life as a very popular Disney film, telling the story of Ariel (Lily Criddle), the youngest of 7 daughters, Aquata, Andrina, Arista, Atina, Adella and Allana who show some excellent and very entertaining characterisation.  Ariel against her father Triton wishes (Dominic Williams) makes a deal with Ursula (Libbie Bentley-Jones) a sea witch to trade her beautiful singing voice for human legs, so that she can discover the world above the water, a decision spurred on by rescuing a handsome Prince Eric (Jack Darker) from drowning – you can guess the ending – they all lived happily ever after!  Befitting really, as the story was originally loosely based on a fairy story by Hans Christian Anderson. With music by eight-time Academy Award winner, Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, and a compelling book by Doug Wright. The score will capture your heart with irresistible songs including, ‘Under the Sea’, ‘Kiss the Girl’ and ‘Part of your World’.

Stage One 2000  Director Brenda Davies together with Musical Director Sian Jones decided to present the ‘full Broadway’ production as opposed to the Junior version, meaning that we are treated to a couple of extra songs but even more importantly the whole musical can then be presented with a live orchestra rather than using a backing track, which to my mind was a great decision, you can’t beat a live orchestra, and they were very good, creating a breezy (sea breezes obviously) feel-good show inspiring the cast to put their hearts and souls into creating colourful performances which went down very well with the audience. It was wonderful to see all their happy smiling faces, enjoying every minute.

The principal players gave accomplished performances, special mention to Libbie Bentley-Jones with a simply wonderful characterisation, and vocally strong sea witch Ursula. Also well done to the Sebastian (Olivi Morrell), Chef Louis (Callum Makin), Flounder(Sophie Roberts) and Scuttle (Roisin Cairns) bring their characters to life. Praise too for what I believe the real appeal of the show (especially for the young females performing) lies in in pull of the Disney ‘Princesses’ in this case 7 of them, Joyce, Sophie, Maggie, Daisy, Hetty, Amelia and Grace who all wish to marry Prince Eric singing to him with the most over the top Dreadful voices, it was hilarious.

The choreography reflected the mood and setting of the show enthusiastically delivered musical numbers, Alli Bentley-Jones did a great job with this mixed ability cast the tap routine performed by a whole host of ‘seagulls’ at the beginning of act 2 was a joy to behold a large and talented cast throwing themselves into the production with great gusto. The whole show was further enhanced by some wonderful, glittery costumes, made to represent a huge variety of sea creatures, and really added to the whole ‘under water’ experience. Great work from Jenny King and the wardrobe team.  The chaperones obviously did a great job as the majority of the cast had around 6 costume changes each!!

The chorus were splendid, working really well together as a team and really throwing themselves into their various characters.  All in all, a talented and enthusiastic cast, singing and dancing well, and who worked really well together and seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves, the audience certainly did!!  There were, most unfortunately, a couple of occasions when the words were a little lost under the ‘music over’ but this was must more noticeable early on in the show, and disappeared by Act 2.

Shows like these always make for a great introduction to the live performing arts for kids, while adults will enjoy the nostalgia that harkens back to a Disney classic. The enthusiasm from these young actors was amazing, great stage chemistry, they loved entertaining Mums, Dads Grandparents and enthusiastic siblings their cheering supportive audience. This is community theatre at its very best long may it continue.

Taken all-together, an entertaining and enjoyable evening Well done, Stage One 2000 and carry on the great work.

 

Joanne Rymer

NODA

District 4