Often when you imagine a Disney™ princess, you see grace, elegance and birds singing softly in the breeze…Middle Child’s ’The Little Mermaid’ throws this out of the window in the best way possible. Instead of grace, think drag eleganza, and instead of birds singing softly, imagine a rocking mix-tape of all the greatest hits booming out. ‘The Little Mermaid’ really is a celebration of all things bonkers.
The design by Natalie Young was full of sparkle and bold colour choices that made all of the costumes pop. The costumes really told you a lot about the characters and were well thought out. A particular stand out moment was watching Ariel, played by Emma Bright on the night, shuffle her legs into a fish tail whilst everyone was singing and trying her best not to fall off stage – not an easy task. Like any panto there was a few hiccups but these only added to the comedy of the show. Pattie Breadcake, played by Marc Graham, created a number of one-liners aimed at the rest of the cast that made everyone laugh, and allowed the performance to keep its flow. I went on the BSL night and I’m so glad that I did because BSL Dave was fab! Not only was he signing to complicated and fast lines but he also acted as a gateway from the cast to the audience. He danced when they danced and was referred to many times by the cast, making his role more inclusive; which is important in making shows accessible which Middle Child have aimed to do this year with a Polish described performance on the 28th December as well. You’re told never to have favourites, but Chips Breadcake, played by Andrew Ross, was mine. Every time I looked at Chips they were pulling the funniest faces and went over the top with absolutely everything, which is what you want when you’re watching a panto. The sound levels were a little loud at times, but for the songs and pure rock out moments I didn’t mind. As I was dancing to the ‘Macarena’ there was a child in front of me doing ALL the moves for ‘Baby Shark’, which was so lovely to see; even if I did feel like my old school discos would be drastically different to his now.
The involvement of the stage management was creative and added another layer to the performance, my family were a big fan of the rat puppets that popped out from behind the curtain – we think they were rats, possibly some other creature from the Humber. I think it would have benefited from a larger audience as it took everyone a little while to warm up into shouting out the boos etc, but this is only a reason for you to go out and get your tickets! There is so much more that I could talk about but I don’t want to spoil it- this show is a concoction of joy, glitter and madness, and definitely one to see with the whole family.
‘The Little Mermaid’ runs until 29th December.