Little Mermaid: The Circus Sensation at Derby Theatre Review

29-31 March 2018


Reviewed by Tammy and Anthony Wildblood

We really didn’t know what to expect when we were asked to review Little Mermaid: The Circus Sensation so we thought it would be interesting to see how a circus sensation would be performed on stage.

On arrival we noticed there were many families in the entrance and lots of excited children ready for the show ahead. We were welcomed with a warm, friendly smile at the box office and shown where to go. We arrived in the bar area up the stairs and ordered a couple of drinks which were reasonably priced, and the bonus is we also paid for our parking in the theatre and it’s only £2 after 5 o’clock. It is also indoor parking so there’s no getting wet on those rainy days.

The doors were opened, and we made our way to our seats which had a lovely view of the stage. The stage was set with rocks, a large anchor and what actually looked like real water on the stage. We didn’t have to wait long for the performance to start and we were then introduced to 6 mermaid sisters through dance/acrobatics. We actually thought at this stage that there wasn’t going to be any talking or singing as they were obviously talented acrobats, but we were so wrong!! One of the sister mermaids then burst into song and not only did they sing but they also played violins, a double bass and many other instruments.

The 6 mermaid sisters were very protective over the baby sister, but she had a mind of her own and decided she wanted to venture out and find mortal true love which is exactly what she did by saving a man’s life at sea. She fell in love and wanted to then find her true love again but there were consequences which came with winning her love and that was to lose her beautiful singing voice to gain legs and the voice would be now the sea witches. The transformation from mermaid to woman was performed through a large hoop and consisted of acrobatics, great sound and mesmerising talent.

Little Mermaid then went to shore to rediscover her love, but it was too late as he was getting married to the lady who he thought had saved his life at sea that day. It was now up to the little mermaid to change his mind and be hers forever.

The stage settings were brilliant throughout as they all linked in together but actually looked like totally different scenes. My favourite scene had to be the fitting of the mermaid’s dress to win his heart as it was comical especially at the end of the song.

Little Mermaid did win the heart of her true love and he chose to live under the sea with her and was transformed into a merman. All the scenes were captivating as the cast are all super talented… they sing, dance, do acrobatics, swing from hoops high up, play all types of instruments and at one point they are playing the violin upside down swinging from a hoop and there were also a few breath-taking moments too where the audience gasped with fear for the acrobats. It is hard to put it into words, so you need to see it.

The only thing we would say is that we didn’t find it to be a circus sensation as advertised. We were confused whether it was a musical or a circus performance. For us it was more of an acrobatic musical but no matter what it was, it was a good family show and well worth the money to treat the children. We would recommend that it is suitable for 5 years plus and the running time is only 70 minutes with no interval which we thought was a perfect length of time.

Another slight disappoint from a child’s point of view is that there was no beautiful mermaid tail to see and a young child would expect to see one at least once in the show, maybe this should be added on the last scene as a finale.

Nevertheless, the show was a great all-round family show and you wouldn’t be disappointed. Well done to such a talented group of people.

Rating: 4/5

Little Mermaid: The Circus Sensation is at the Derby Theatre from 29-31 March 2018, for more information or book tickets visit or call the box office on 01332 593939.

Derby Theatre, 15 Theatre Walk, St Peter’s Quarter, Derby, DE1 2NF | 01332 593939

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