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The Little Mermaid

“As much a party as a panto”

Master of ceremonies Marc Graham arrives on stage astride an inflatable shark at the start of Middle Child’s irreverent Christmas show. Bantering with the audience, he picks out a chap as a potential husband-to-be, while once again proving how good he is at pantomime.

Graham plays Pattie Breadcake, an ego-tripping dame with designs to be Queen of the Humber. He hectors his fellow cast members, deadpans his way through fluffed cues and executes a mean guitar solo during the finale.

Emma Thornett plays Ursula, the production’s wonderfully boo-able evil queen. She tells us she’s as “bad as Boris”, while stroking a fluffy purple sea creature on her lap. The scenes between them are the highlights of the show.

This Hull-set take on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale impresses both with its performances and inventiveness. Two pieces of painted wood, tacked together at an angle, provides the prow of a boat. The budget might be low but the gag-count is high. Paul Smith’s script is packed with real wit – and an abundance of fish puns. His production is backed by a live band – led by composer James Frewer, with cast members rotating on instruments including drums, bass and lead guitar – and it all feels, as ever, as much a party as a panto.

Middle Child: ‘We want to push the boundaries of what gig theatre can do’

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Production Details
Production nameThe Little Mermaid
VenueJubilee Central
StartsDecember 19, 2019
EndsDecember 29, 2019
Running time2hrs 30mins
AuthorPaul Smith
DirectorPaul Smith
Musical directorJames Frewer
Set designerNatalie Young
Lighting designerAdam Foley
CastAlice Beaumont, Andrew Ross, Emma Thornett, Josie Morley, Marc Graham, Nigel Taylor
ProducerMiddle Child
VerdictMiddle Child's pantomime is a fizzy, witty Humber-set take on a classic fairytale
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