On Saturday 14th April I went to watch the Little Mermaid show at the Lowry with a friend. I didn’t really know what to expect from this, except that I love the story of the Little Mermaid (hello? Disney?!), and I love circus acts.
As soon as the show started I realised that this was very different from what I expected.
The story portrays the Little Mermaid’s dream of rising up out of the sea to experience life on land. Despite the warnings from her sisters, she goes on to do this and meets the prince who she rescues from a storm at sea. The Little Mermaid visits the seawitch who grants her wish for legs in exchange for her voice (you know the story…).
The music was folksy-style and in my personal opinion, the lyrics were a little cheesy. There were a few singers that particularly stood out though, one of which being the girl who played the eldest sister. She had an extraordinary vocal range and managed to silence the row of rude girls behind us who talked almost entirely through the whole thing (thanks mermaid!!).
The performers played several roles between them and simultaneously played instruments live, controlled puppets and displayed pretty incredible gymnastic choreography. In my opinion, the aspect that made this play stand out for me was the circus element; the choreography was seamless and quite frankly terrifying at times! There were several moments where we feared for ourselves (we were in the 4th row) and for the acrobats themselves.
I did think that the costumes slightly let down the aesthetic of the show though. They were quite shabby looking at times. It was also quite difficult to understand who was who at points; in particular when the prince becomes a merman/mermaid. The male actors were playing female mermaids throughout, so when the prince was transformed he seemed to also become female which was very confusing.
Overall I believe that whilst the music and costumes weren’t to my taste, the talent was fantastic and a lot of hard work had clearly been put into this performance.