REVIEW: Unfortunate, The Untold Story of Ursula The Sea Witch, Underbelly, Edinburgh Fringe ✭✭✭

Last Updated on 18th August 2022

Paul T Davies reviews Unfortunate, The Untold Story of Ursula The Sea Witch at Underbelly as part of the Edinburgh Fringe

Unfortunate Edinburgh Fringe
Photo: Craig Sugden

Unfortunate, The Untold Story of Ursula The Sea Witch.
Underbelly, Edinburgh Fringe
3 Stars
Book Tickets

Riffing on Wicked, here’s another musical that tells the story from the villain’s point of view, and a much-loved villain at that! The Little Mermaid followed me around a little in Edinburgh, Ariel cropping up in a couple of shows! It’s now a cult musical with a huge following, and its body positivity and biting satire on Disney stereotyping makes it a laugh from beginning to end! The chorus are the characters that didn’t make Disney!

Robyn Grant channels Bette Midler and vamps perfectly as Ursula, her asides and wicked humour a joy. I loved Katie Well’s Stacy Solomon TOWIE Ariel, wanting to be “Up There with The Dicks”, a kind of underwater Love Island contestant, and Jamie Mawson plays a number of roles with expert aplomb. Sebastian is now reimagined as Irish, and Allie Munro is very funny here. Steffen Rizzi is an exceptional King Triton, vocally superb.

So why am I not giving it a higher rating? Unfortunately for my Unfortunate performance, the sound mix was dreadful, and if more than one character sang at the same time, I lost diction and gags. Fans of the show already know the lyrics, but newcomers like me struggled to hear clearly, and that was reflected in the comments of audience members around me. A shame, as the production is so slick in other technical areas and performance, it’s frustrating to not see it at its best.

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