REVIEW: Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID - It's All An Act
Venue: Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke
Performance Date: 22 March 2023
Reviewer: Jaz Wilson
Get ready to be transported to an underwater world of enchantment and adventure with BAOS’ production of DISNEY’S THE LITTLE MERMAID! I was lucky enough to attend one of the final rehearsals before show week and let me tell you, it was a magical experience.
RHIANON MONE shines as Ariel, with amazing vocals and a wonderful performance that will make you believe she truly is a mermaid. HARRISON CRANGLE delivers an incredible accent and characterisation as Sebastian, while JACK BALDWIN’s beautiful voice and gentle character as Prince Eric will melt your heart.
But it’s not just the leads who shine – SIOBHAN BRANCH’s incredible voice as Ursula, HANNAH JENKINS’ spot-on portrayal of Flounder, and KATHY MAY-MILLER’s animated and energetic Scuttle all add to the enchantment of the production. And let’s not forget about MARTIN SAMPSON’s commanding presence as King Triton, or the ghoulish dynamic between JOSEPH NELHAMS and SAM HARRISON as Flotsam and Jetsam.
The supporting cast is just as strong, with the Mersisters played by ANNA NEARY, DIANA SANKEY, EMILY CARMICHAEL, HARRIET BRANNAM, KATIE CONQUEST, AND LAURA WHITWELL and Chef Louis JADE WILLIAMS impressing with their vocals and comedic timing along side Dave Edwards portrayal adding a great contrast as Grimsby. And we can’t forget about the real-life dog, Meg, who steals the show as Max.
The ensemble, consisting of AMY-LEE LESLIE, ANDREW WOOD, CAROLINE PRICE, EMILY FAGG, HIRO FAM, JENNY MOSELEY, KATY WILSON, LISA HOLBROOK, LOTTA WILKINSON, MEADBH CORBETT, NATASHA JENKINS, SAM ALEXANDER, AND STEPHANIE WEBB, makes a great sound when needed and accompanies the cast wonderfully.
The direction by OWEN WHITE is clear and the blocking is well thought out, along with his trusty sidekick and second pair of eyes RYAN STEVENS for all the finer details, while SIMON EASTWOOD’s musical direction brings power and emotion to the production. The choreography by HOLLIE PARKS is simple yet effective, tailored to the different abilities of the cast members.
This production is sure to win the hearts of both children and adults alike, with its stripped-back version already impressive during rehearsal. I can only imagine how it will come to life when lit up and fully realized on stage. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of the magic – get your tickets now for BAOS’ production of DISNEY’S THE LITTLE MERMAID!