REVIEW: Unfortunate – Theatre Royal – Nottingham


“Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch,” currently gracing the stage at the Nottingham Theatre Royal, is a vibrant, exhilarating experience that delivers on every front. This critically acclaimed musical parody, fresh off a spectacular run in London, brings its deliciously camp energy and uproarious satire to Nottingham, promising an evening of unbridled entertainment. “Unfortunate” is the perfect pick for an adult night out!

From the outset, “Unfortunate” immerses the audience in a whirlwind of absurd and chaotic parody, reimagining Ursula’s tale with a delightfully humorous, self-aware twist. Shawna Hamic shines as Ursula, commanding the stage with a presence that is both formidable and hilariously endearing. Her portrayal, alongside a stellar leading cast including River Medway as Ariel, Thomas Lowe as Triton, Allie Dart as Sebastian, Jamie Mawson as Eric and Julian Copolei as a range fo characters including Grimsby revitalises the well-known undersea narrative with wit and panache.

The whole cast, including the wonderfully hard-working ensemble, featuring Corrina Buchan, Jack Gray, Jamie McKillop, and Milly Willows, demonstrate exceptional versatility and multi-rolling skills, seamlessly switching between various characters and roles, enhanced significantly by this being very clear to the audience in a perfectly hilarious way. All the performances add depth and dynamism to the show, ensuring that every scene is packed with energy and creativity.

The show’s set and costume design, crafted by Abby Clarke, are truly spectacular. The clever use of vibrant colours and intricate details transform the stage into a bustling underwater world. The costumes strike a perfect balance between flamboyant and functional, accentuating each character’s unique persona. Special mention must be made of the exquisite wig design, which adds an extra layer of visual charm and character distinction.

“Unfortunate” thrives on its audacious humour and unapologetically rude jokes, which are gloriously obscene yet impeccably delivered. The original pop soundtrack, composed by Tim Gilvin, is both catchy and cutting, providing the perfect backdrop for the show’s trademark filthy humour. Songs like “Part of your World” are reimagined with a cheeky twist, leaving the audience in stitches while tapping their feet to the infectious beats.

The production is a testament to the creative team’s brilliance. Robyn Grant and Daniel Foxx’s writing is sharp and self-aware, cleverly poking fun at Disney conventions while celebrating them. The choreography by Melody Sinclair adds to the show’s energetic vibe, with each dance number executed with enthusiasm and precision. Lighting by Adam King and sound design by Lucy Baker-Swinburn and her team create an immersive experience that enhances the overall spectacle.

“Unfortunate” is more than just a parody; it’s a joyous celebration of queerness, camp, and comedy. It invites the audience to view the familiar through a fresh lens, challenging preconceived notions with humour and heart. For those seeking a night of fun, laughter, and a touch of scandalous entertainment, “Unfortunate” at the Nottingham Theatre Royal is a must-see. Dive in and enjoy the ride—it’s this year’s hottest night out.

Photography throughout from Pamela Raith.






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