A little while ago I saw tickets for The Little Mermaid production on Groupon (One of the better Groupon experiences I've had). I bought a couple not knowing much about it and then I found out it was all the way in Hammersmith. So I gave the tickets to my flatmate for Christmas!
But on the day of the show he told me he couldn't make it as his wife was having dental surgery that day and he was going to be playing nurse. So I printed the tickets and Dion and I planned to go that night.
Dion was visiting so we spent a while in London looking around Borough markets and the Golden Hinde and then went to Five Guys to get a bit of biting back chip action.
After our meal we were ready for our journey to Hammersmith. I know it’s still within London but when you live in the East it is such a mission going to south west London, even from Soho it took us ages to get there.
The production was held at Riverside Studios, little place tucked away in a side street and housing what seemed like filming studios and independent movie theaters. We arrived with plenty of time to spare so headed over the street for a couple of ciders among the locals watching dart competitions on the television.
We headed back and entered the theater. An older gentleman was reclining in the center writing in a small notebook. On either side of him were four other figures covered with sheets, creating curious shapes. The actors under these sheets stood patiently, with very few movements for about 7 minutes while another girl played a pretty tune on the piano. Once the show was ready to begin the man stood up and began removing the sheets from the four other actors.
One of them was a young girl seated at a harp, the next was a girl seated with a violin, next was a young man with a guitar and the last young man with a flute. Each of them played a short musical interlude and the story began to unfold from there.
The story was told as Hans Christian Anderson wrote the Little Mermaid and explained the intertwining themes of unrequited love in his own life to the trials the Little mermaid faced in hers. It was masterfully written and produced. The 6 actors were so talented and each were able to play several different instruments, as well as sing and act.
All of the action was told with the aid of excellent lighting creating blue ripple effects for the ocean scenes and golden orange for sunsets. The cast were able to evoke a roaring, thunderous storm with the use of a drum, and a sharp and hazardous violin tune.
The only props on stage were the piano, a desk and a couple of sheets, however, not once did it feel as though they were lacking anything. The story was gripping, the acting was riveting and the songs carried the drama along beautifully.
The show was produced and acted by a small theater company called Blind Tiger and they don’t have an advertising budget so rely almost entirely on social media and word of mouth. If you ever read anything about Blind Tiger upcoming shows, clear a space in your social calendar for a night you won’t forget.
At the end of the show the man announced the actors and told us all he hoped we enjoyed the show and if we had then we had just seen the Little mermaid and if we hadn't, we had just watched the Lion King!