2012 Toronto Fringe Festival: The Little Mermaid

Darling it’s better down where it’s wetter: venture under the sea with Sisters of Salome

Presented by Sisters of Salome
Written by Hans Christian Andersen
Adapted and choreographed by Sarah Skinner

The Little Mermaid (Sisters of Salome).

In Hans Christian Andersen’s popular fairy tale, a young mermaid dreams of life on land, and makes a Faustian bargain with a sea witch that will change her life forever. The story is well-known, but the tale gains new life in the Sisters of Salome’s unique production of The Little Mermaid, now playing at this year’s Toronto Fringe Festival. Told entirely through beautiful music, stunning costumes, and belly-dancing, the Sisters of Salome combine elements of Oriental dance with Turkish tradition to tell the story in a creative way.

Transforming the stage at the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse into an underwater kingdom is no easy task, but it is accomplished very well in this production. In the first 10 minutes, the five mermaid sisters are introduced, their fishtail-style dresses sparkling as they dance through a sea of fog. Using fans with aqua-coloured scarves attached in a realistic portrayal of the ocean, the group of dancing “fish” (played by the Joy of Dance Fish Cast) truly bring the stage to life as an underwater setting.

The beautiful young mermaid (played by Sisters of Salome founder Sarah Skinner) is set apart in her mermaid costume, as she wears green while her sisters (Patricia Bekiaris, Sophia Beckiaris, Joanna Williams, Balkis Catelin and Zoe Smith) wear matching blue seashells and fishtail skirts. The audience follows her as she saves a prince (Tim Spronk) from a very realistically performed storm that capsizes his boat. She falls in love with the prince instantly and visits an evil sea witch (Victoria Buston) who takes the mermaid’s beautiful voice in exchange for legs.

The story is true to Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale, but with a few entirely original moments that are the absolute highlights of the production. Much to the little mermaid’s dismay, the prince marries the princess (Lauren Lyn), whom he believes is the woman who saved him from an almost certain death after his boat capsized. At their wedding, belly dancers with candles balanced on their heads perform a captivating dance that leaves the audience wondering how the trays with the candles stay put.

Also memorable is the final scene which features the entire cast on the stage dancing to an energetic beat. This production of The Little Mermaid is a treat for the senses, bringing the world of belly-dancing to the masses and providing a fresh spin on a classic.

The Little Mermaid plays at the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse until July 15th. Visit fringetoronto.com for a full schedule and to buy tickets.

Show Dates: 
Thu, 2012-07-12 - Sun, 2012-07-15
Our rating:


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.