Review: The Northern Ballet’s The Little Mermaid, Lyceum Theatre, Nov 28-Dec 2

Abigail Prudames as Marilla and Joseph Taylor as Prince Adair in Northern Ballet production The Little Mermaid. Photo Emma Kauldhar
Abigail Prudames as Marilla and Joseph Taylor as Prince Adair in Northern Ballet production The Little Mermaid. Photo Emma Kauldhar

Anyone arriving at The Lyceum expecting the Disney version of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale would have been in for a shock on the opening night of the Northern Ballet’s five day run in the city.

Sticking to the original fairytale’s darker plot, this impressive production uses the power of dance, movement and expression, combined with music, to explore the fall-out when two worlds meet.

Based on the fantastical tale of a mermaid who leaves her underwater world and falls in love with a man from the earth above, this beautiful production explores the ebb and flow of love, including the unrequited version.

With the Northern Ballet attracting top class talent from around the world, the dancers in this production hail from countries including Cuba, Japan, Italy, Canada, Spain and South Korea, with each performer deserving of their time on stage.

Dreda Blow, playing the lead role of mermaid Marilla alongside Guiliano Contadini as Prince Adair, danced in effortless unity as their romance developed before ending in tragedy.

Hannah Bateman, playing Dana, who Prince Adair swapped his affections for, was also a dream to watch with her technique utter perfection.

Transforming a theatre into a world under the sea was never going to be easy, but with dancers mirroring the waves, clever lighting and costumes this ballet succeeds.

* Claire Lewis