Audiences go 'under the sea' this Easter at Maddermarket

With an exceptionally strong cast, Echo Youth Theatre's production of The Little Mermaid is one not to be missed. 

With an exceptionally strong cast, Echo Youth Theatre's production of The Little Mermaid is one not to be missed. - Credit: Charley Nicol

Disney movies often make the step up on to the stage these days. 

The Lion King, Frozen and Aladdin have all proved popular on Broadway and the in the West End.

Now Norwich is set for its very own Disney treat - The Little Mermaid. 

And the Echo Youth Theatre’s production of the children's classic is a hoot.  

The auditorium was full of friends, parents and people who adore the Disney film on opening night with many folks buzzing at their first visit to the theatre since the pandemic.  

Mersisters played by Poppy Foley, Priya Hunter, Charlotte Sprot, Sophie Millington, Alice Peck and Milly Hodges

Mersisters who doubled as ensemble including suiters for Prince Eric were hilarious played by Poppy Foley, Priya Hunter, Charlotte Sprot, Sophie Millington, Alice Peck and Milly Hodges - Credit: Charley Nicol

And, in true Echo fashion, this show does not disappoint.  

With exceptionally good costume design by Jo Myers, Kymm Loveday and Kirk Wills the audience were instantly in the palm of the performers' hands because visually it was such a high standard.  

Emerson Kelly-Clarke was a sure stand-out as Chef Louis

Emerson Kelly-Clarke was a sure stand-out as Chef Louis, the delivery of his lines were second to none leaving everyone quite literally crying with laughter. - Credit: Charley Nicol

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The costumes were completed with trainers that had wheels in the soles allowing the cast to glide across the stage to create a mesmerising underwater feel.  

Directors Chris Davidson and Dan Rayner present a show that gives every young person their moment to shine with not a single member of the cast fading into the background.  

Nina Murdoch as Scuttle who is a seabird was fantastic and wearing an expertly designed costume, a real joy to watch. 

Nina Murdoch as Scuttle who is a seabird was fantastic and wearing an expertly designed costume, a real joy to watch. - Credit: Charley Nicol

Mabel White, 14, leads the cast as Ariel with her superb singing voice and fantastic characterisation we were forced to forget that this was a youth production.  

Amelie Mobbs and Maisie Double-Cook played Eel's Flotsam and Jetsam who are Ursula's henchman 

Amélie Mobbs and Maisie Double-Cook played Eel's Flotsam and Jetsam who are Ursula's henchman - Credit: Charley Nicol

Playing alongside Mabel as Eric is 16-year-old George Bartlett-Archery. It is only his second musical but George showed great vocal range and charisma.

Meanwhile Libby Lumb, 16, really stood out as Ursula. Her voice and acting style evoke the nostalgia of the original sea witch which many of the audience will remember from the animated film.  

Stand out performances also include Korben White who is playing Sebastian - his comedic timing and original choices for the character really had the audience excited for what he might do next.  

No stranger to treading the boards in Norwich theatre Korben White delivered a brilliantly original version of Sebastian. 

No stranger to treading the boards in Norwich theatre Korben White delivered a brilliantly original version of Sebastian. - Credit: Charley Nicol

And both Nina Murdoch, as Scuttle, and Emerson Kelly-Clarke, as Chef Louis, had the audience roaring with laughter with their superb delivery.  

This is a very strong cast and they managed to inspire young people in the audience with many determined after seeing the show to take to the stage themselves.  

The production was complete with some very large props which added a layer of finesse to the production. 

The production was complete with some very large props which added a layer of finesse to the production. - Credit: Charley Nicol

All in all this is a treat for the whole family.  

The Little Mermaid runs at The Maddermarket Theatre until April 9 and tickets start at £12.  

Libby Lumb fantastically captured the villainous essence that is Ursula the sea witch. 

Libby Lumb fantastically captured the villainous essence of Ursula the sea witch. - Credit: Charley Nicol