The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid

Music by Alan Menken. Lyrics by Howard Ashman & Glenn Slater. Book by Doug Wright. Mercedes College. Directed by Kathleen Cocks. The Regal Theatre, Subiaco WA. July 28-30, 2017

Mercedes College took their annual school production to the Regal Theatre for the first time, delivering a show with amazing production values, performances that belied the ages of the performers and amazing precision.

Employing the services of set designer Nathan Weyers, this show was outstanding visually with wonderful surprises including a fabulous ship for Prince Eric and an absolutely delightful row boat. Great use was made of the Regal’s fly tower and the show also featured wonderful puppets designed and well-operated by students. The set was expertly lit, designed by Kellie Wilhusen, with wonderful effects.

Costumes, designed in-house by Jo Driscoll, were equally impressive with every one of the literally hundreds of costumes, beautifully finished and presented.

Musical director Harry Oliff led a very tight orchestra, featuring students and community members, and sound balance (David Keys) was managed well.

Lead actress Stephanie Shaw anchored the show with professionalism in an excellent performance in the title role. She was very nicely paired with Harry Pitts as Prince Eric, who brought charm and grace to this young leading man.

Wonderful character performances from Jayda Agostina, who was a fabulously powerful Ursula - dominating the stage with every appearance, and scene stealer Harry Boyle, who won hearts as the crab Sebastian. Keely Mcmillan was fabulous as outsopken seagull, Scuttle.

The daughters of Triton were a phenomenal team, Elizabeth Gilbert (Aquata), Lydia Algeri (Adrina), Charlotte Greenway (Arista), Ruvimbo Tambiri (Attina), Jemma Middleton (Adella) and Neve Havercroft (Allana) worked together with sisterly care, harmonising beautifully and gliding across the stage with impressive formation on heelies. Hannah Anderson was a lovely King Triton, with a great portrayal of parental responsibility, while Ella Simpson was delightful as Ariel’s best friend Flounder.

Very solid support from Alexia D'Alesio as Grimsby, and the team of Tess Bowers and Stellah Anderson as Flotsam and Jetsam, while Grace Armstrong brought great joy to her cameo as Chef Louis.

An enthusiastic ensemble gave 100% to smaller roles, with every one of the 90 performers on stage, focused, energised and enthused.

Beautifully directed, designed and delivered, this was a school production of the highest calibre. Congratulations to Mercedes College for tackling this huge production. You deserved your capacity crowds and accolades.

Kimberley Shaw