Reviewed by Rebecca Banasko
I took my son, age 5, and my niece, age 7, to see Metta’s Little Mermaid. The age guidance on the show is 8+ so I was ready for it not to hold their attention as long as I would like. We all love Disney’s Little Mermaid story and so were looking forward to this although I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect as the ‘circus’ aspect had thrown me a bit.
From the very start I knew this was a performance with a difference. In the first few seconds I was faced with both my young companions turning to me with loud gasps and mouths agape.
The story followed The Little Mermaid who dreamed of the rising up from the sea and seeing life on land. Her sisters shared their tales of their own experiences which were tinged with some fear and warning but still the Little Mermaid was determined to rise up and see the world for herself. This she does, and she soon falls for a handsome Prince who, himself, is drawn toward the sea. Following a storm, he needs to be rescued after being thrown from a boat. The Little Mermaid delivers him safely to land but upon waking she is gone and he mistakenly believes that he has been rescued by another lady who discovered him on the beach. The Little Mermaid cannot shake the thought of him and seeks the help of the seawitch to gain legs so she can pursue the Prince. However, the seawitch has other motives and agrees to do this in exchange for The Little Mermaids voice. But if she cannot earn his love she must return to the sea without her voice and will be banished to the deepest part of the sea alongside the seawitch herself.
After a chance meeting once again, The Little Mermaid finds herself attending a ball with the Prince. Their feelings for each other are undeniable but she soon learns that he is promised to his supposed rescuer. Heartbroken the Little Mermaid returns to the sea to await her fate as promised by the seawitch. However, she then makes a series of discoveries about her past which help her and those around her see things differently. Will she be able to find a way to be with her love at the twelfth hour or will her future be black and silent with the seawitch as her permanent companion.
The story itself is different from other versions and this is definitely my favourite! However, the arrangement of the performance is what makes this show stand out. It is a musical and it is a circus but there is so much more to it. The performers also play instruments, control puppets and provide counterweights for the perfectly choreographed gymnastic moves. The talent and skill being showcased in this one story is beyond any I’ve ever seen. It has so many different angles it and it’s hard to tear your eyes away from the sheer physical talent on display, yet the performers make it look effortless
A beautiful and heart-warming story, it kept the children’s attention and I could see that the whole audience were enthralled throughout. I really recommend this as a lovely family experience that will give you lots to talk about afterwards.
Tickets cost from £18.5 to £20.50 (booking fees may apply).
Metta’s Little Mermaid – The Circus Sensation is at The Lowry in Manchester from 10-14 April 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit www.thelowry.com or call the box office on 0843 208 6000.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000