Unfortunate: The Untold Story Of Ursula the Sea Witch – A Gloriously Camp Twist On The Little Mermaid At New Theatre, Cardiff Review


Reviewed by Kathy Sanderson

Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch – A Gloriously Camp Twist on The Little Mermaid

Last night, I finally got to see “Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch, and wow, what a night! I’d been curious about this show ever since I’d spotted the quirky poster, but seriously, I had no clue what I was walking into.

When the show started I was a bit lost at first – what on earth had I come to see?
But then, the laughs started. Between the cheeky jokes, clever story twists, pure filth and its daring, transgressive humor, I was hooked. It’s not just another show; Robyn Grant and Daniel Foxx story is a breath of fresh air, especially how it flips a classic Disney tale on its head, challenging the story of my childhood and presenting beloved characters in bold and hilariously camp new lights

River Medway from RuPaul’s Drag Race, as Ariel, completely reinvented the character, pulling her into the 21st century with the essence of a teen of today. River’s portrayal was fresh and relevant, making Ariel resonate with today’s audience like never before, especially appealing to adults with a modern twist.

Alongside River, Shawna Hamic as Ursula was nothing short of spectacular. She rocked the role, turning Ursula into a girl power role model that had us rooting for her in a way reminiscent of “Wicked,” but with even more humor and zest.

The performances? Absolutely spot on. Shawna’s portrayal of Ursula added depth, rebellion, and a delicious dose of camp that was just captivating. And then there was the actor playing Vanessa whose dance routine was absolutely fierce, filled with flawless comic timing and those jaw-dropping splits that left the audience owwwing!

Abby Clarkes designs added to the comedy and allowed the actors to make the roles their own.

The puppets added a fun and funky layer to the whole setup, oozing with campy charm that just made everything more vibrant. The whole evening was filled with standout moments – like the tragic scene with Kirsty the Sea Cucumber and Ariel’s daring rescue of Sebastian.

Tim Galvins songs deserve special mention, especially his Parody on the childhood favourite song from Ariel ‘Part of your World’ to ‘I want to be where the di#ks are!’

The show didn’t just keep us entertained for over 2 hrs; it pushed boundaries, made you think, and broke more than a few traditional molds with a very cheeky grin.

So, if you’re up for a night of hilarity, some surprisingly deep moments, and a show that dares to be different with a fabulous camp twist, “Unfortunate” is definitely for you, if you’re 16 years or over.

I would give this Show 5/5 and if you only see one show this year make it this one providing you enjoy adult humour.

Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch runs until Saturday May 11th 2024 at New Theatre, Park Place, Cardiff.

Tickets start from £18 and a transaction fee of up to £3.95 may apply to your order. You can get your tickets here.

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