The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch, His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen

Story


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A review from 5D Music & Theatre writer Maria Robertson.

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As a huge Little Mermaid fan I was immediately desperate to see this!  Advertised as a parody I was somewhat concerned to see what they would do to my beloved story, and who would be playing the whole important role of the mermaid Ariel.  The fact there is an over 16 warning also concerned me – this is a children’s story!  However Shawna Hamic as Ursula was as if the part had been written for her, she was absolutely fantastic.  Although this show actually started as a Fringe production in Edinburgh, many years ago, the current cast are all outstanding.  My beloved Ariel was played by River Medway, the drag queen, which concerned me when I saw it in the program, but was actually incredibly fitting and I love this character more than the Disney princess I met in Florida.  River Medway makes a stunning little mermaid, and when playing the fish tailed side of the character and crossing the stage had me in fits of laughter.  I also loved the version of Part of Your World, the parody version is “Where The Dicks Are”, a slightly different slant on it and when Ariel pulled out the human items she had gathered you could not keep a straight face.

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This production has been very cleverly written, with some hilarious lines, but unfortunately we struggled to make out some of the lyrics as the music was a bit too loud.  Luckily my friend has found lyrics videos on Youtube meaning we have been able to enjoy the full genius of the lyrics.  I had noticed a t-shirt on the merchandise stall saying “Masturbation, Chemical Peels and Rage: It Keeps You Young”, and indeed when Ursula delivered the line I laughed till the tears came out.

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The set for this show is simple, although very striking, as it is done like the deck of a ship which doubles as Ursula’s underwater cave.  The character of Ursula is a toilet sucker at the beginning, and it shows how much you are removed from reality during this show as it was only later that I wondered how toilets would work underwater with keeping the water and contents in them.  The song Sucking On You is again hilarious.  The costumes are also amazing, from Ursula’s tentacles to Flotsam and Jetsam’s neon jackets.  Triton (Thomas Lowe) and Neptune had amazing fishy outfits – and were outstanding characters from the 80s power ballads to the inappropriate relationship between the father and his son, just genius.

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The current world situation and financial difficulties that everyone is facing mean we all need a good laugh and this show certainly induces a lot of hilarity which is the best tonic.  If you are not easily offended, and you don’t mind classics being tinkered with, get yourself a long to a theatre this week to see this genius show.

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Further information and tickets for the rest of the week: https://www.aberdeenperformingarts.com/whats-on/unfortunate-the-untold-story-of-ursula-the-sea-witch/

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Maria Robertson is the Chief Music & Theatre Writer for the 5D Pop Culture Website and provides reviews & coverage of local Aberdeen music & theatre gigs. She’s an experienced writer for numerous sources and is a self-confessed live gig addict ever since seeing The Counting Crows at the Barrowlands in 1994.

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