Presented by Adelaide Youth Theatre
Reviewed 31 January 2016
Adelaide Youth Theatre has done it once again! Armed with only two weeks of preparation and rehearsal time, what seems like 4,000 young people and a gargantuan mega Broadway musical hit, AYT have delivered by the bucket load.
This version of Disney’s The Little Mermaid shimmers and sparkles in the light like the ocean it is set in.
Making an impressive directorial debut, Thomas Phillips, makes sure that all the magic and wonderment is where it should be. His pacing and understanding of the show is excellent, although he does have some of his actors deliver lines straight on to the audience a little more than this particular reviewer likes.
Shenayde Wilkinson-Sarti delivers some of her best choreography yet, infusing so many dance styles perfectly into the action – you’ve just got to love any show with tap dancing seagulls!! Making her musical directing debut, Deborah Brennan and her band show off the Broadway tunes to their fullest.
This show lives and breathes with its lead, Ariel, the little mermaid. Get that casting wrong and you may as well just swim quickly away. Sophie Guidolin is perfection in the role. She is a musical theatre star very definitely in the making and partners well with Ben Francis as Prince Eric. This reviewer can never praise Francis enough – he just gets stronger with every show he does; and he started at ‘very strong’.
Another youngster to keep an eye on as he progresses is Nathan Stafford (Skuttles the seagull). His understanding of comedy, both verbal and physical, is admirable – and he can sing and dance too! Someone else who understands comedy and characterisation is Paris Anderson as evil Sea-hag, Ursula.
Jerome Javier (Sebastian the crab) and Montana Vincent as Flounder give magnificent support as do the Mersisters (Georgia Broomhall, Lucy Artis, Holly Zadow, Jessica Andrews, Kiera Barge and Paige Dobie). Special Guest Artist Andrew Crispe adds his powerful voice and acting skills to make an impressive and commanding King Triton
The colourful costumes by Tash Fennell and Lisa Donovan add the sauce to this succulent sea food platter.
This fish story certainly hooked this reviewer.
Reviewed by Brian Godfrey
Venue: Arts Theatre