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Review of King’s Lynn Operatic and Dramatic Society’s (KLODS) The Little Mermaid at St George’s Guildhall: Cast and crew put their hearts and souls into performance of underwater fairytale

Audiences were transported to an underwater world of magic, mystery and romance as King’s Lynn Operatic and Dramatic Society (KLODS) performed Disney’s The Little Mermaid last week.

The two-hour musical show, staged at Lynn’s St George’s Guildhall, showcased the many talents of its 20-strong cast, who kept the crowds thoroughly entertained as they told the story of young mermaid Ariel who yearns to find out more about the world above the sea’s surface.

This production - which I was fortunate enough to watch with two friends for its well-attended finale on Saturday - was peppered with classics from the Disney film including Part of Your World, Under the Sea and Kiss the Girl, as well as less well-known numbers from the Broadway musical, and these were all performed with gusto and flair.

Some of the cast of the Little Mermaid
Some of the cast of the Little Mermaid

We felt in safe hands with our two leads, Fenella Thomson as Ariel and Zach Stanford as Prince Eric, who both had lovely, powerful vocals, as well as some great chemistry as two young people from different worlds who fall for each other - despite all the odds.

The cast was bolstered by some fantastic comedic support from stand-outs Rowan Fox-Noble as paranoid but loveable crab Sebastian (and he really nailed that accent!) and Dorcia Bowden-Noble as boisterous seagull Scuttle - who provided one of the highlights of the night with a tap dance routine.

And that’s without mentioning the villain of the piece, sea witch Ursula, played to wicked perfection by Rebecca Pooley, and supported by her two slippery eel sidekicks Flotsam and Jetsam (Naomi Whybrow and Emma Grove).

Kieren Davis had the audience in stitches during his stint as Chef Louis, while Isabella Smith played a bashful Flounder, Tom Whybrow was a commanding King Triton, and James Jakeman was Grimsby, the stuffy guardian who was a constant reminder to Prince Eric of his royal duties.

I would be remiss not to mention Ariel’s six mermaid sisters who each had unique characters and beautiful voices.

Away from the cast, this KLODS production was the first to use an LED backdrop which was a brilliant addition to the show, creating a more energetic and lively stage.

That’s not to say that there wasn’t a brilliant physical set too, with excellent use of props (which featured lots of puppets during Kiss the Girl) and vibrant, colourful costumes. Meanwhile, the sound and lighting brought the underwater world to life, so kudos must also go to the team and the backstage crew.

The digital LED backdrop proved a great addition to the production
The digital LED backdrop proved a great addition to the production

Director and choreographer Hayley Dennis and musical director Alex Kendal created a fantastic, captivating version of this much-loved Disney story - based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale - which received a much-deserved standing ovation.

KLODS cast and crew put their heart and souls into this production and I can’t wait to see what they do next!

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