When the story is told from a different perspective, we learn that the villain isn’t always as ‘Wicked’ as we first thought. And it’s finally time for Ursula the Sea Witch to have her redemption arc.

Let’s preface this by saying – IT IS NOT DISNEY – DO NOT take children to see this show.

Credit: Craig Sugden

Fat Rascal Theatre are known for their comedy musicals, they are Fringe favourites and have produced 7 new musicals! Fat Rascal is run by women, and Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch, is a musical parody, with book and lyrics by Robyn Grant and Daniel Foxx. Unfortunate premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2019. The show currently on a little UK tour, heading to the Fringe again this summer.

Unfortunate begins with Ursula, 20 years before the storyline of ‘The Little Mermaid’. We see her falling for King Triton and then being blamed for the death of Kirsty the Sea Cucumber. She is subsequently banished. We then jump 20 years and follow her throughout the storyline of ‘The Little Mermaid’. This is akin to ‘Wicked’ in the way we see Elphaba’s origin and then follow her throughout the storyline of ‘The Wizard of Oz’.

The set is purple – it has to be doesn’t it? It sparkles and shines, and is very camp. The lighting aids the design and gives off the feel of an underwater disco. Three musicians are upon the stage, and they are all exceptional.

Credit: Craig Sugden

The costumes are great – but I’m just going to talk about Ursula’s, designed by Cory Shipp, it really is the star of the show. The costume belongs in a museum. The way in which Elliotte Williams-N’Dure moves within the costume brings Ursula gliding across the sea bed to life.

Williams-N’Dure commands attention with her stage presence. She adds an incredible physicality to the role, and her vocals are beautiful. She’s bold, sexy and everything you’d imagine Ursula to be. The only gripe I have is that at times she did not enunciate enough which meant it was difficult to understand what she was singing. Williams-N’Dure is the singular member of the cast to play just one character – the rest of them take on multiple roles throughout the show. And some of their quick-changes are beyond impressive, they literally reappear on stage in a new costume in seconds.

Allie Dart is the star of this show. Dart takes on many legendary characters including Sebastian and Vanessa. Her changes are ridiculously quick and she’s onstage for most of the run time. She embodies every character that she appears as and each is a separate fully realised character. Her comedic timing and use of physical comedy is impeccable. I’m sure she needs a long lie down after each show. Jamie Mawson is also worth a special mention for his gloriously camp portrayal of Prince Eric.

The show includes the use of puppetry, but it is more ‘Avenue Q’ than ‘Life of Pi‘. It works exceptionally well, and brings to life many much loved characters including Flounder and Max. The puppets performing ‘We Didn’t Make It To Disney’ is a musical highlight of the show.

The score of Unfortunate is a lot of fun. It’s filled with pop music numbers, with satirical parody lyrics. The show includes many important themes such as; consent, toxic masculinity, plastic pollution and body positivity. These are included within the musical numbers, for example they’ve changed Disney’s ‘Kiss the Girl’ to ‘You Better Ask Before You Kiss The Girl’. Encouraging Eric to ask Ariel if he can kiss her before leaning in.

There is some work to be done with the sound during this production. On a few occasions throughout the performance the microphones weren’t switched on in time for us to hear the first line of the script or song.

Unfortunate is hilarious, and you can tell that the cast are having so much fun up on the stage. It is a joy to watch them. This show is funny, fresh and jam packed with great musical numbers. It makes for a great night out. Important messages are included throughout the show, but this is a show that doesn’t take itself too seriously at all. This is what Fringe theatre is all about!

And Unfortunate begs the question.. is Ursula a villain at all? Or is she a feminist icon?

Rating: 5 out of 5.

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

2 Star Review 3 Star Review 4 Star Review 5 Star Review 2022 2023 Adaptation Almeida Cabaret Camden Fringe Cast Announcement Christmas Comedy Dance Drag Edinburgh Fringe Edinburgh Fringe Interviews Fringe Immersive Interviews Jukebox Musical LGBTQIA+ Lyric Hammersmith Manchester Musical New Musical News New Wimbledon Theatre North West Off West End Park Theatre Play Review Revival Richmond Theatre Round Up Royal Court Theatre Shakespeare Show Announcement Show Recommendations Soho Theatre Southwark Playhouse Touring Production VAULT Festival West End

    The infamous Sh!t Faced Showtime are back in London with a festive edition, they have taken Dickens’ classic and put a drunken spin on it. The formula is the same as other iterations of the Shi!t Faced shows, one member of the cast has been boozing, and this time it is John Milton who plays Scrooge. Before the show, half a bottle of Jim Beam, some wine, and beer have been consumed in the previous 4 hours. The rest of the cast, try to keep the show on track, also aided by James Murfitt as the compere, Charles Dickens. The … More A PISSEDMAS CAROL – REVIEW – LEICESTER SQUARE
    Spine-tingling yet heart-warming, Mark Gatiss’s retelling of A Christmas Carol truly encapsulates the haunting atmosphere of a Victorian ghost story, balanced out with enough humour so as to capture the festive season. Led by Keith Allen as Scrooge, with Peter Forbes as Marley, this show is perfect for Christmas viewing. The set design by Paul Wills is instantly captivating, containing stacks of metal cabinets towering over the theatre, moveable by the cast to allow space for other central props like doors, beds and tables. In addition to this, the puppetry design by Matthew Forbes is incredibly clever, adding creepy elements to the show such … More A CHRISTMAS CAROL – REVIEW – ALEXANDRA PALACE
    The title of this winner of Theatre 503’s 2023 International Playwriting Award by Roxy Cook may seem like the set-up to a joke, but the narrative that unspools is instead an affectionate, gently barbed and at base quite sobering portrait of three ordinary souls (and one restless feline) adrift in modern Moscow. There is much affable, satirical back-and-forth commentary on the accepted myths & stereotypes of the Russian spirit & soul. Beset by the indignities of age, opportunism, graft, fatigue, the characters orbit one another, doomed to play out their roles in an unjust, predatory and saturnine universe. The play opens … More A WOMAN WALKS INTO A BANK – REVIEW – THEATRE503
    Peter Pan Goes Wrong first premiered in London at the Pleasance Theatre in 2013, and earlier this year the show made its Broadway debut. Now the production is back in the West End for the Christmas season. Following on from The Play That Goes Wrong, in this production, J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan is staged by the fictitious Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society and goes awry, disastrously so. The meta-comedy is filled with slapstick comedy, sometimes the humour may be predictable and silly, but it’s universally funny throughout – there is something for everyone here, and the laughs come thick and fast … More PETER PAN GOES WRONG – REVIEW – LYRIC THEATRE
    Drawing heavily from the classic canon of the British supernatural, HighTide’s trio of contemporary Gothic narratives uses traditional storytelling formats to address contemporary themes. Directed by Elayce Ismail, reverent musical interludes accompany tales of apparitions and nighttime conjurings that speak of women from the East of England. Unfortunately, the effect is less chilling and more lightweight, with conventional structures, predictable plot twists and an over-reliance on external forces to drive narrative shoring up some of the less relatable aspects of the genre. Nicola Werenowska’s The Beach House, perhaps the cleanest of the three tales, tells of a mother and daughter’s … More GHOST STORIES BY CANDLELIGHT – REVIEW – SAM WANAMAKER PLAYHOUSE

2 Star Review 3 Star Review 4 Star Review 5 Star Review 2022 2023 Adaptation Cast Announcement Comedy Dance Edinburgh Fringe Edinburgh Fringe Interviews Fringe Interviews LGBTQIA+ Manchester Musical News New Wimbledon Theatre Off West End Park Theatre Play Review Revival Shakespeare Show Announcement Southwark Playhouse Touring Production VAULT Festival West End


Leave a Reply