Little Mermaid Jnr

Little Mermaid Jnr Bishops Stortford Academy of Performing Arts (formerly BSMTC Juniors) take audiences Under the Sea for a fin-tastic showcase of talent.

LucyKate Newland on behalf of Bishops Stortford In dependant Newspaper had a whale of a time when she set sail for Rhodes Arts Complex to see Bishops Storford Academy of Performing Arts production of The Little Mermaid

“I wanna be where the people are, I wanna see, I wanna see them dancing”. And so I went to the Rhodes Arts Complex to watch Little Mermaid Jnr.

There was singing, dancing and laughing in bucket loads.  It was such a joyous experience.  If you haven’t heard of Bishops Stortford Academy of Performing Arts (formerly BSTMC Juniors), all their members are between seven and 14 years old, so they are between Years 2 and 10 at school.  That in itself deserves applauding because they have such confidence and ability for people so young.  Those smiles were just infectious!

Ursula talks in the show about taking gifts for granted and I know that the company will continue to nurture their wonderful youngsters to understand and develop their talents.

The Little Mermaid is one of my favourite Disney films and I wasn’t really sure how well it would translate to the stage but the set design was inventive and well done as were the costumes. I loved the excited chattering of the children in the audience as they were taken on an adventure by the characters on stage in front of them.

Musically, there were some very good singers.  There were some beautiful harmonies from the mermaid sisters and those girls SO sassy!

Really great work there – and well support from the young girls in the orchestra pit who provided some excellent backing vocals.

The seagulls were funny and it you are looking for comedic talent you need look no further than Emily Edwards as Sebastian.  She really stole every scene she was in, although the ‘Chef scene’ with Andrew Randle as Chef Louis was a bit of a close one as to who was funniest!

My favourite Disney villain is Maleficent but I think she might have a contender to the crown with the gloriously evil Ursula played by Catrin Savage – watch our Idina Menzel, there is a new wicked witch in town!  The scene with her and King Triton (Kyle Callaghan Gleeson) was desperately heartbreaking.  He was just a dad trying to do best for his teenage daughter and this was portrayed really well.

Flounder sang about being in the shadows and not being noticed, but Leah Gillespie does not need to worry about that.  She is awesome.  Nicely understated but also very powerful.  That is a difficult balance to get right but she has that.

And then, there is Ariel.  Tia Searle is special.  When she sang Part of your World, the audience were in silence and all eyes were on her.  I really do hope we see more of her beautiful talent in the future.

There were some issues with the sound during Under the Sea and I couldn’t hear all the singing, which was a shame.  But the smiles and confidence that they had during this number made up for the lack of sound.

It is also worth noting that amongst the creative team; two dance coaches and the creative team assistant are also under 18 which shows a huge commitment and it should be commended that they want to use their talents to help younger children learn the craft.

I wish I had the word limit to go through every person in the cast and give positive comments because everyone deserves one – there was no weak link in this performance.  I was up on my feet and the end because it was such a moving, fun performance.  One little girl said: “It was like being at the actual Disney,” and I agree.  Thank you for letting me be Part of Your World.

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