The Little Mermaid

Bournemouth Musical Theatre Productions [BMT Productions] Regent Centre, Christchurch 

Chelsea Sherry 29 May 2024


The Little Mermaid is a Disney classic, there is no question about that. If you haven’t seen it, you’ve certainly heard of it. With the protagonist, Ariel, capturing kids’ hearts (and a few adults too!) across different generations, bringing this show to life would be no mean feat. Bournemouth Musical Theatre must have had quite the challenge on their hands here, but not only did they meet that challenge- they completely exceeded it. The Little Mermaid is undoubtedly one of the best amateur shows I have seen locally, with the most outstandingly beautiful set design I’ve seen at The Regent Centre.

For those of you who don’t know, The Little Mermaid is very loosely based on the story written by Hans Christian Anderson. Disney took the story, polished it up a little bit and changed the rather macabre ending for a much happier one. The original animated film was awash with all the colours you would expect from a world under the sea, so we were expecting colour- and gosh didn’t we get it! The gorgeous costumes alone were a sight to see.

Firstly, I have to mention the set which was perfect. There was very little set onstage that needed to be moved or changed, which created a truly seamless experience. Through clever projection, we were transported through the sea, into a castle, on the beach, and floating atop waves, all within seconds of each other.

There would be no Little Mermaid without a strong, cheeky and vocally talented Ariel, and Jasmin-Rose Marks rose to the challenge perfectly. It seemed like a role that had been made for her as she fitted seamlessly into it, and her singing was flawless. She was paired well with Dylan Havard who gave a good performance as the lovelorn Prince. The two of them had chemistry onstage and the audience was behind them getting their happy ending the whole way through.

As much as Ariel is an icon, there are few Disney villains as revered as Ursula, the evil sea witch. Beverley Becks performance in this role was thrilling. She dripped evil through and through and appeared to be relishing her wicked persona. She was perfect, with some stonking vocals to boot. Her two accomplices Flotsam and Jetsam, played by Kylie Green and Lisa Stead, were fabulously creepy and also had great presence when on stage.

Sebastian, the persistently frustrated crustacean, was played with great humour by Rob Arrowsmith. It’s not an easy role as it comes with two of the most iconic songs of the show- no pressure there then! He navigated the role with ease. Under the Sea and Kiss the Girl were stand-out songs for me as he and the ensemble brought the songs to life with gorgeous costumes, endless enthusiasm and huge amounts of energy. Absolutely brilliant.

Other stand-out performances were Krista Gibson-Green as Scuttle, especially in her high energy tap-dancing song, Positoovity, and Flounder who was played by Lily-Mei Coombes. Sean Lee Hardy as King Triton was a father I wouldn’t want to mess with, and Tony Lee as Grimsby gave a good performance as the father figure to his stubborn princely charge.

All the mer-sisters made their presence known on stage with their over-the-top characters and stunning costumes, I absolutely loved watching them. And finally, last but not least, Chef Louie, played by James Dixon-Box was really something to behold. He had a truly show-stealing, comedic moment which injected a lot of humour into an already joyful production.

This is an absolutely fantastic production with outstanding talent. Every single cast member was alive with energy and the atmosphere was electric. The choreography was gorgeous and executed beautifully, and the buzz from the audience as they left the auditorium suggested that they all had the best time. If you get a chance this week, do go and see it. The show runs from the 29th May- 1st June at 7:30 every evening. There are also matinee performances on the 30th May and 1st June.