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The Little Mermaid at The Arts Theatre - Review

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by Stacey Canavan (subscribe)
I'm a 28 year old female Senior Reporter for Weekend Notes. I Graduated from A Bachelor of Journalism at The University of South Australia in 2013 & completed my Diploma in Photography
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The Adelaide Youth Theatre
The Adelaide Youth Theatre Company presents their version of the 1989 Disney film 'The Little Mermaid', book by Doug Wright and loosely based upon the story by Hans Christian Andersen. The show will premiere at the Arts Theatre on January 28th, playing until January 31st.

The production directed by Thomas Phillips, musically directed by Deborah Brennan and choreographed by Shenayde Wilkinson-Sarti, with music and lyrics by Alan Mencken, Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater.

The cast included Imala Konyn (Ariel), Connor Olsson-Jones (Prince Eric), Benji Riggs (Sebastian), Luke Wolianskyj (Scuttles), Gemma Dandie (Flounder), Georgia Bolton (Ursula), Andrew Crisp (King Tritton) and Georgia Broomhall, Lucy Artis, Emily Downing, Ava-Rose Askew, Kiera Barge and Annabel Lane as The Mersisters.

The story begins under the sea with a princess mermaid called Ariel (IKonyn) who lives with her father King Trittion (Crisp) and six sisters in a castle at the bottom of the ocean. Ever since Ariel's mother died her father has despised humans, because he believes they're behind her death. Ariel believes there's more to life than living under the sea and despite her father's wishes, she watches the humans on land longing for their life, until one day she gets a little bit too close.

The Adelaide Youth Theatre
After Ariel saves Prince Eric (Olsen-Olssen-Jones) from drowning, he can't stop thinking about her and believes she's the girl he should marry. Ariel makes a deal with her aunt, the sea-witch Ursula (Bolton), but at what cost. Ariel is given legs, but Ursula takes her voice. Now Ariel can't tell Prince Eric who she is and if he doesn't kiss her before sunset on the third day, her soul will be Ursula's forever.

The Adelaide Youth Theatre have done it again, after successful productions of Charlotte's Web and Hairspray (2014) Beauty & The Beast and Bugsy Malone (2015) I wasn't expecting anything less than amazing, and they delivered. I loved that I felt like I was under the sea with the waves created on stage and the beautiful on-screen pictures.

Stand out performers in this production were Imala Konyn who played Ariel, she was amazing to watch and never forgot she was meant to be floating in water. Watching her constantly move her arms back and forward as if she was swimming was beautiful to watch. Konyn was meant to sing 'Part of Your World', it suited her voice beautifully and she really shinned singing it.

The Adelaide Youth Theatre
Connor Olssen-Jones played Prince Eric, he did a great job recreating the on-screen romance with Ariel and in doing so made the audience fall in love with him. I loved his rendition of 'Her Voice', he has an amazing voice and will go very far in the theatre industry.

Georgia Bolton who played Ursula had a hard role. It's hard to be the one the children fear from the Disney classic, but you couldn't help but love Bolton in this role. The costume was amazing and all those legs really added to the evil sea-witch character. Bolton was just incredible singing 'Poor Unfortunate Souls' and the audience agreed giving her a huge applause as it ended. She really stood out in this production with a background in theatre and a future on the stage.

A special mention to Gemma Dandie who played Flounder, she was perfect for this character and doing all her lines while skating across stage was great to watch. Scuttles played by Luke Wolianskyj was really convincing as a bird and we were all waiting to hear that the human fork was a Dinglehopper; he played his part well.

One performer who stood out as the star in this production was Benji Riggs, who played Sebastian. It must have been hard to learn to speak exactly like the Disney character and hold that voice throughout songs. Riggs was funny to watch and really made this production an all round amazing show. Favourite songs from the Disney classic include 'Kiss the Girl' and 'Under the Sea' and Riggs really delivered on these numbers.

The Adelaide Youth Theatre
Stand out moments in this production were watching all the children come together in so many different costumes to sing 'Under the Sea'; The on-screen connection between Olson-Jones and Konyn and the overall magic that made you believe that you were in King Tritton's castle under the sea.

Overall The Little Mermaid by The Australian Youth Theatre was another amazing production, that had one holding back the tears when King Tritton let Ariel and Prince Eric get married and live happily ever after. Well done to all who were involved and made the production possible. The Little Mermaid runs until Jan 31st. Look out for The Adelaide Youth Theatre's upcoming productions of 'Into The Woods' from March 11-13th at The Star Theatre and Aladdin from April 28th -30th at The Arts Theatre.

Dates & Times
28th Jan at 11:00am & 7:00pm
29th Jan at 11:00am & 7:00pm
30th Jan at 2:00pm & 7:30pm
31st Jan at 11:00am & 3:30pm

Cost
Adult - $45.00
Concession - $33.00
Children under 12 - $25.00

Tickets are on sale on: Bass
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Why? The Little Mermaid on stage
When: January 28th - 31st
Where: The Arts Theatre
Cost: $25 - $45
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