Blue Mountains Musical Society (BMMS) is venturing under the sea with Ariel and her friends as they embark on the adventure of a lifetime at the Blue Mountains Theatre.
BMMS is presenting Disney’s The Little Mermaid, with opening night on Saturday, October 21.
In the classic 1989 film, Ariel bargains with the evil sea witch Ursula for legs so that she can be a part of the human world but soon realises she'll need help from her friends to make things right in both worlds.
While audiences will recognise such familiar songs as Part of Your World, Under The Sea, and Poor Unfortunate Souls, director John Forbes said “the musical makes slight changes to the movie to deepen the characters, flesh out the score with new songs and make the show work more effectively on stage”.
Forbes teaches the performing arts class at Blue Mountains Grammar School and said he has always adored The Little Mermaid. He remembers his copy of it on VHS breaking by the time he reached the age of five because he had rewatched it so many times.
Assistant director Angela Pezzano cites The Little Mermaid as her favourite Disney film, partly because “mermaids have all the fun”.
But she said the film’s wider popularity can be traced to the universality of its message.
“Everyone has had the experience of not belonging and feeling oppressed until they discover who they were always meant to be; many people can understand Ariel and feel that she tells their story,” she said. “It’s almost a childhood rite of passage to want to be Ariel”.
With original fans of the film all grown up and having their own families now, it’s the perfect time to introduce the story to a new generation of budding Ariels.
And while it is easy enough to set a story underwater and to have characters move without legs on film, these factors present quite a challenge on stage. Much of this has to be solved by local skate, dance and art teacher Linda Aubrecht, who is the show’s choreographer. She said the most difficult part of her job has been “finding a way for cast members to move as sea creatures that isn't uncomfortable to perform or to watch”.
Springwood’s Benjamin Roorda plays Grimsby, Prince Eric’s father figure. A self-described “true Disney child born and bred”, he said one of his favourite aspects of the story is that “Ariel is not afraid of what she doesn't understand. She knows nothing about humans but rather than hating and fearing them like the rest of the mermaids, she is delighted and fascinated by them.”
“I think we could all learn from Ariel in how she approaches something she doesn't understand with an open heart and mind.”
Roorda describes this production as “a show full of colour, music, laughter and tears”.
Tickets and performance details at www.bmms.org.au or call 4723 5050.
- Saturday, October 21 - 8pm
- Sunday, October 22 – 2pm
- Friday, October 27 – 8pm
- Saturday, October 28 – 2pm
- Saturday, October 28 – 8pm
- Sunday, October 29 – 2pm
- Friday, November 3 – 8pm
- Saturday, November 4 – 2pm
- Saturday, November 4 – 8pm
- Sunday, November 5 – 2pm
- Ticket Prices
- Adult: $46
- Concession: $42
- Children: $36
- Group (15+): 10% off
- Friday 27th: All tickets $37