Windmill Theatre Company’s June production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid is about to make a splash at the Drum Theatre.
The production directed by Tyler Hess, musically directed by Anthony Barnhill and choreographed by Kirra Sibel, opens on Friday June the 10th and features a cast of forty strong, including Stephanie James as Ariel and Blake Testro as Prince Eric.
Other familiar characters such as the feisty crab Sebastian (Maverick De Leon), the powerful King Triton (Augustin Aziz Tahantcho) and the evil Ursula (Natasha Bassett) and her accomplices the eels Flotsam (Luke Oldmeadow) and Jetsam (Andrew Amos) appear throughout.
For James, this is a role she has dreamed about since being a young girl watching the Disney Princess films and idolising Ariel as her favourite princess. “I used to say to my friends that my goal in life is to be a Disney Princess.”
The Little Mermaid was also a part of Testro’s childhood and this process has been one of nostalgia for him. “It’s a real nostalgic journey with a few new surprises included.”
Anything that has the Disney name to it not only brings nostalgia but also an element of pressure. “There’s something about a Disney which is like no other. You have the nostalgic aspect, but also a story, characters and songs that are iconic worldwide,” said James
Due to this, both James and Testro have felt the pressure of recreating two Disney roles but believe they have been able to capture the essence and inject their own originality into their respective roles.
Adding to this element of originality is the inclusion of new songs that were not in the film, such as Scuttle’s song and dance number ‘Positoovity’. But it still includes the classics, such as ‘Part of Your World’, ‘Kiss the Girl’, and ‘Under the Sea’.
“There are surprises throughout the show which ill enthral the audience and keep them guessing if they know the movie inside and out,” said James.
Due to the longer rehearsal period of almost six months, there has been time to dedicate effort into all the areas of production such as costumes, sets and the orchestra. “I think it is going to blow you away,” said Testro.
This latest production is a show for both young and old and will be enjoyed by the audience, whether they are Disney fans or not. “The music, the costumes, the sets, the acrobatics, the show stopping numbers will astound you,” James said.
“I think it is going to be a technical achievement, it is going to be hard to pick a favourite number by the end of the show,” Testro said.
The season runs from the 10th to the 24th of June at the Drum Theatre in Dandenong. To book tickets online, log onto purchase.drumtheatre.com.au