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Unfortunate: the Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch

Updated: May 3

Tim Gilvin, Robyn Grant & Daniel Foxx

Fat Rascal Theatre; Laura Elmes, Wildpark Entertainment, Runaway Entertainment

Lowry, Salford

February 22- March 2, 2024; 2hr 35min

(also Liverpool Playhouse March 5-9; Bradford Alhambra, April 4-6; Blackpool Grand May 21-25; York Grand Opera House June 11-15; Newcastle Theatre Royal, July 2-4)

Shawna Hamic as Ursula in Unfortunate. All pics: Pamela Raith
Shawna Hamic as Ursula in Unfortunate. All pics: Pamela Raith

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Unfortunately I have never seen the Disney film of The Little Mermaid. Again unfortunately, I

don’t really like pantomime - especially those that rely on adult humour to fuel the laughter.

Which made me an odd man out at this performance of Unfortunate, which otherwise had the audience cracking its sides.

The musical parody relies on a knowledge of the original, not to mention the high-octane cast, led by Shawna Hamic as the lead sea witch, Ursula. With her distinctive hair style and ability to belt out the music, she leads from the front as the part female-part squid sea demon. Triton (Thomas Lowe) will knock your tail off with his splendid fork, and you will clutch your sides at the verbal confusions of Ariel (River Medway, acting her shells off).

The rest of the cast is a mixed blessing. The dancers perform vigorously. The singers shout out their lyrics to emphasise the parody. Best are the puppets, by Aled Williams.

The production team – director and co-writer Robyn Grant, lyricist Daniel Foxx and composer Tim Gilvin -have a track record bolstered by the touring success of the musical parody following its success at

the 2019 Edinburgh fringe (though it may be no coincidence that one of the credits is an award for the best unproduced musical).

But to stay in the cliche mode in which the production specialises, the reaction of the audience is the

key to any review – and the audience laps it up. Which means the show will be a great success, in its niche way. If you think a song titled Where the Dicks Are will appeal to you, you will enjoy the show.

More info and tickets here


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