It’s rare as a reviewer to be invited to a tour of the Theatre as part of your invitation package. Tonight before being watching Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch. Behind the scenes at The Mast in Southampton gave the group of invited press a comprehensive and interesting guided tour of where and how the Theatre magic is created.
When I first read the press release the idea of an adult parody comedy musical from the perspective of Ursula the sea witch, the notorious villain from Aerial the mermaid. The concept intrigued me as to how this could work and I decided to find out how this would play out on stage. Well, I was certainly not disappointed.
The fast-paced adult-themed humour certainly lives up to the advertising. Cleverly scripted to bring current important affairs to the “surface” from the disgusting environmental crisis of waste being dumped into our seas, plus-size ladies are beautiful and the damage caused by the negative press has a lot to answer for and reminded the audience that men and women should be treated as equals.
Robyn Grant’s role as Ursula is outstanding and throughout the performance, her American accent reminded me of the incredible comedian “Ruby Wax” cutting to the quip and making a stand for powerful women. It’s never right that women standing up for themselves are often vilified.
Ursula’s love interest King Triton’s (George Whitty) charismatic charm and operatic voice left the auditorium stunned during several of his solo songs.
The fantastic display of underwater sea life puppetry bought the ocean scene to life and it would not have worked without them. However, Sebastian the crab played by Allie Dart was my overall favourite. Slipping in and out of an Irish accent throughout.
It’s refreshing to watch a musical comedy that highlights and raises such important topics without feeling like you have sat through a long speech. Presenting them in a way that you carry on considering them long after leaving the Theatre.
Outstanding musical performances all around and a selection of fantastic costumes. There’s nothing to dislike about this musical, I was “hooked” from the first number. As a company, they have set their sights on performing in the West End and I honestly think they have an excellent chance of fulfilling that dream.
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