Unfortunate – the untold story of Ursula the Sea Witch

Last week, Christine and I went with a group of friends to see the Unfortunate Musical at Bradford’s Alhambra Theatre. It’s a musical parody of The Little Mermaid, but told from the perspective of Ursula the Sea Witch; indeed, Ariel doesn’t appear until towards the end of the first act.

I suppose you could say that Unfortunate is to The Little Mermaid as Wicked is to The Wizard of Oz. However, Unfortunate is very much an adults-only affair, with plenty of swearing and sex references throughout. The touring version of the show sees Shawna Hamic as Ursula, who is absolutely fantastic, and Ariel is played by River Medway, one of the contestants from series three of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. There are also standout performances by Thomas Lowe as Triton and Allie Dart as Sebastian (and several other roles, including two in the same scene).

It’s very, very camp, as you would expect from a show with more than one drag queen in the cast, and isn’t afraid to poke fun at Disney’s film adaptations. It makes good use of a multi-level set, and Ursula’s character breaks the fourth wall on multiple occasions throughout. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it was worth arranging childcare for our eight-year-old to be able to see it.

Unfortunate is still on a UK tour until July, with some more dates in the North to come, including York, Newcastle and Blackpool. If you like big, camp comedy with original music, then I would heartedly recommend it. I took the photo for this blog post during the encore when photography was encouraged.

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