The Little Mermaid 2024: Review

FADLOS The Little Mermaid

Performed at The Fakenham Community Centre on 14 May 2024

Co-Directors and Choreography Ben Francis and Paula Graver

Musical Director Jo Kemp

With this tried, tested and successful production team and the ‘right’ musical for the group, this could only be a ‘magical’ evening.

From the moment of entering the doors of the community centre, we were, definitely, in the frame of ‘under the waters’ of a desert island with the bar, auditorium and all helpers dressed and styled appropriately and in the mood.

The set was excellent and imaginative, well painted, was moved on time and slick. The video screen presentation as part of the license requirement was managed with style and so the whole experience was a pleasure.

I had expected to have backing tracks for this Disney presentation, but I was delighted by the live music from Jo and her 8-piece band. I would also compliment the choreographer and cast on how imaginative and well drilled the dancing was.

The costumes, designed and made to order by Mark, Sylvia and Linda of Anglia Academy of Performing Arts and Syldon Costumes were the stars of the show, absolutely fabulous and brilliant. I loved the Heely shoes giving the gliding effect of those with tails not legs.

There was such strong casting in this production, bringing out the story and all that humour. Chloe Hunter (Aerial) definitely had the personality and voice to cast the spell over her prince Robert Bond, all their numbers were good. I liked that the Prince’s man Grimsby, played by Trevor Key, tried to keep him in order. Jeremy Barker (King Triton) found that his power could just not control his daughter, even with help from the likeable Flounder, played by Alex Chidichimo. What fun and activity from that mobile seagull Scuttle, Maria Cutting, I loved her interference, and that tap routine with all those gulls was splendid.

The Mersisters Sarah Chessie, Chloe Regester, Caitlin Tuck, Annabel Nash, Niamh Lingwood and Tilly Baron were a great team for harmony and movement. What a fearful and frightening villain Ursula, played by Victoria Perryman, in the amazing octopus costume. She has a powerful voice, and she was well supported by Alice Hobbs and Michelle Hollingsworth-Keogh as Flotsam and Jetsam.

Another likeable cameo from Lee Gibbons as Chef Louis, he used his song to effect. Probably the biggest personality and dressed to kill in mega-style, Ben Francis as Sebastian the crab, what timing and humour, a great patter song to lead the company, and free movement in the numbers, this was a performance of a professional and encouraged the company to greater heights.

The whole show was a delight of music, colour and movement, and highly appropriate for this particular company and their talents, and especially to celebrate the 100 years of Walt Disney who took the final curtain call on the video screen.

Thank you for your hospitality.

Susan Dupont

Assistant Rep

District 5


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