Thursday, May 30

Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch – Liverpool Playhouse

Unfortunate, a musical parody by Robyn Grant and Daniel Foxx, has officially opened at the Liverpool Playhouse last night, telling the untold story of Ursula the sea witch from the Disney movie The Little Mermaid. Now I must say from the off that is absolutely not a story for younger audience members. I imagine those who attended last night may have received a shock, especially the parents.

So, to the synopsis of the story. This musical started out at the Edinburgh fringe with a huge success. Now it is touring, it is a story of Ursula (Shawna Hamic from Orange is the New Black) narrating us through how she came to be the evil sea devil she is known for. After falling in love with Triton (Thomas Lowe) and a few raunchy episodes in the bathroom Triton wishes to ask her to be his wife and be the future Queen. Much to the King’s dismay. The King decides to frame Ursula by killing the beloved friend of Triton, and once accused banishes her from the kingdom. As the story progresses, we meet Ariel the daughter of Triton played by River Medway (RuPaul’s Drag race). Who wants to have loads of sex with Grimsby (Jack Gray) after she saves him from drowning.

Photo: Pamela Raith Photography

Now this production was a lot better than I was expecting, however, in truth I wasn’t actually sure what to expect. It has immense comic timing from all cast members with very skilled puppeteers, actors Milly Willows, Jack Gray, Corrina Buchan and Jamie McKillop. As well as brilliant references to pop culture, this show had the whole of the audience in fits of laughter and I left feeling like I wanted to see it again.

Now, for this to be a review it does come with moments of critic. I felt that the sound mixing, and volume needed to be adjusted as for a fair chunk of the show I had a finger in one ear as it was hurting and crackling my ear drum, songs were sung rather fast it was hard to keep up with certain lyrics and finally, the flying cables while visually astounding when they worked, they kept banging into the set and was distracting.

I for one do like filthy humour but this was at points too much. It felt like they had to keep being rude to keep the audience engaged and happy when really, we as an audience were enjoying the show anyway. A favourite moment for me was when River sang their solo and a piece of set fell apart so other company members came to save it in time for the visual joke. The reason why it’s my favourite was because river carried on like a pro and only let out the odd titter of laughter during their serious solo which made us the audience laugh more.

If you get a chance to see this show I 100% recommend it and very reasonable within the price. The album is also available on apple music and Spotify to listen to if you can’t get those catchy songs out of your head.

Reviewer: Luke Stephenson

Reviewed: 5th March 2024

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.