Sophie McCarlie (left) who plays Ursula, and Becky Davies, who plays Ariel will be taking to the stage at the Theatre Royal these school holidays to perform The Little Mermaid Junior. Photo: Kate Russell.

Come ‘under the sea’ these school holidays



The Little Mermaid Junior is making a big splash in Nelson these school holidays.

The Nelson Youth Theatre Company is bringing the Disney classic to the Theatre Royal from October 1 – 7. The production, based on the Hans Christian Andersen story, has been adapted from the 2008 Broadway musical and the 1989 film.

Set in a magical underwater kingdom, the play follows the beautiful young mermaid Ariel, who longs to leave her ocean home for the world above.

But she first has to defy her father, King Triton, make a deal with evil sea witch Ursula, and convince the handsome Prince Eric that she’s the girl with the enchanting voice.

Director Richard Carruthers says they have a cast of over 50, aged from five to 17, who have spent the last three months rehearsing.

And because they have so much talent in the theatre company, they are running the show with three casts.

He says the hour-long show will appeal to a wide audience, from three year olds to teens, as well as adults who grew up watching the film.

“It’s slick, fun, bouncy, happy, and colourful – everything you’d expect from a Disney show, but on the stage,” says Richard.

“It is very family-friendly and moves very fast so children won’t get bored. There is lots of magic, underwater creatures, and all the costumes have been made by the parents.”

Audiences are also being encouraged to dress up as their favourite Little Mermaid character, and will also have the opportunity to come on stage afterwards and have their photo taken with the characters.

“That will just add to the magic,” says Richard.

“It’s a great way for children to get a feel for youth theatre.”

The Little Mermaid Junior is on from 1-7 October. Tickets are $17 for children, $25 for adults or $75 for a family of two adults and two children, with show times ranging from 1pm, 2pm and 7pm.

Tickets are available from TicketDirect or the Theatre Royal.