Underbelly (Venue 61)
4th Aug-28th (not 15th)
Holly Norrington and Teddy Lamb have written an interesting take on Hans Christian Anderson’s The little Mermaid. It loosely follows the familiar tale but gives it a warped take by being about a mermaid who becomes obsessed with music from the 1990’s. After getting close to the surface she falls in love with the songs, she does a deal. Losing her voice she has 3 days being a ‘landmaid’ to befriend a pop star called Lucky and help her release her songs without studio interference and allow her to become a marine biologist….yeah…just go with it.
The story is a little bit all over the place but that’s not to say that there’s no fun to be had for this is a dizzing mix of theatre, spoken work, dance routines, puppetry and low-fi special effects all with weird and wonderful costumes. Everything including the kitchen sink is thrown at the show (well a bathtub actually) and for the most parts works very well. Creating a frantic and inspiring mix. I especially loved the clever use of bubbles in a fan, underwater effects for pennies.
For a show set in the 90’s it has some great gags and nods to the famous pop songs they listened to when growing up. But maybe it’s a bit too packed with references. Certainly the dance routines from Steps and S-Club 7 begin to grate by the end of the hour.
But aside from that this is touching and wildly inventive show, all about the girl she is and the girl she wants to be. I liked that there is no love interest, this is all about friendship and what it was like growing up wanting to be someone else. Something I think we could all identify with, no matter our musical tastes.