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Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch – Edinburgh Fringe

Written By:

Anne-Louise Fortune & Ed Fortune
Unfortunate

by Ed Fortune

Unfortunate is the latest work from Fat Rascal Theatre – a company responsible for a number of musicals, including the super-hero pastiche Vulvarine. The name of that show alone should probably give you some indication of the tone of Fat Rascal’s work – in that it is cheeky, knowing, and definitely not suitable for kids.

Here, in an edited version of a show that began life before Covid restrictions were imposed, the company have turned their attention to telling the story of Ursula, ‘the villain’ from Disney’s The Little Mermaid. For reasons of Intellectual Property actions, *this* Ursula is just different enough from Disney’s version as to be legally distinct. For example, there is an interfering crab called Sebastian. But he’s Irish and has a totally different personality, and performed superbly by Allie Dart.

Ursula oozes onto stage full of confidence and attitude, and we learn exactly what went down between the young and single Triton and Ursula, and how she ended up betrayed and banished from the undersea kingdom of Atlantica. Elliotte Williams-N’Dure embodies the role of the sea-witch and has amazing vocal talent. Fantastic, bold and very queer, it’s a delight to watch.

The songs are simply fabulous and underly the show’s themes. Notably the tune We Didn’t Make It To Disney emphasises how sanitised Disney’s stories are. The songs are well choreographed, catchy and familiar enough to be parodies of family fare, without being too similar to well known tunes. The more fantastic under-sea creatures are skilfully puppeteered through-out, and get some of the cheekiest lines.

The show eventually catches up with the story of The Little Mermaid and Miracle Chance plays Ariel as an air-headed and hollow idiot; too dumb to really understand the world and way too interested in the world of men (and we mean men) for their own good. The humour steps up a notch here into very bawdy territory in this quirky, funny, adult romp through a different angle on a classic tale, which focuses on the strong, queer women that Disney would prefer to forget.

stars

Unfortunate is at the Edinburgh Fringe until August 28th, 2022. Click here for more details.

Anne-Louise Fortune & Ed Fortune

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