The Little Mermaid Junior
15th March 2019
The Lyric Theatre
Type of Production
Author: Jo Sykes
What a fabulous production by this talented group of young people. It’s not easy to transport a theatre audience under the sea, but you did just that – taking us to a wonderful, colourful and exciting underwater domain. Director, Mark Maltby and Musical Director, Anna Maltby, had clearly worked these young people very hard to pull off such a lovely production. The cast were very strong with a beautiful and engaging performance by Kitty Esberger in the title role – it is very difficult to recreate a character that most people have only ever seen in animation, but Kitty perfectly captured the naïve energy of Ariel - all whilst wearing a tail. Lewis Maltby was a very believable Prince Eric with a strong command of the stage for a young performer. Emily Askew as Flounder, gave a most energetic and entertaining performance and Maisie Simmons, Sebastian, played the over anxious crustacean very well.
Great comic timing from Faith Birnie as Scuttle – delivering some funny lines very clearly. Flotsam (Ellie Wright) and Jetsam (Emily Simmons) captured my heart – they were such great characters as the evil minions of the very wicked Ursula played by Courtney Dylan. Courtney gave a regal performance as the sea queen without being over dramatic - we were left in no doubt that she really was a nasty piece of work.
Great performances from Keiran Stinson as Grimsby, William Gabitas as an imposing King Triton, Katie Wright as Carlotta, Ella Sutton as an entertaining Chef Louis and Olivia Blakemore as Pilot. All the cast were enjoying themselves and gave confident portrayals of some tricky characters. Well done to the Mersisters, Gulls, Sailors, Chefs and Sea Creatures – you were all great.
The choreography was perfect for this production when most of the numbers are ‘swum’ rather than danced. I really enjoyed the Mersisters routine for ‘She’s in Love’ – they did incredibly well using their fans in synchronisation. Choreographer, Catherine Enos had used a lot of imagination to create the great movement around the stage.
The costumes were brilliant – you were left in no doubt who the characters were, but the young people could move around easily. The accessories and hair design were of particular note – I loved Ursula’s headpiece and costume. The scenery and props, particularly the huge ship and rowing boat, were super with the production having good lighting and sound throughout. Well done to the stage crew who ensured swift changing of the many scenes – you all worked very hard to keep it running so smoothly.
Huge congratulations to everyone involved – this was a great show which I hope the performers enjoyed as much as the audience.