Review: Meow Meow’s Little Mermaid

Meow Meow's Little Mermaid. Photo: Supplied
Meow Meow's Little Mermaid. Photo: Supplied

The Auckland Arts Festival constantly wows my expectations in terms of the shows that grace our city each year. Meow Meow’s Little Mermaid was no exception. Australian cabaret star Meow Meow (Melissa Madden Gray) reenacts Hans Christian Andersen’s original 1837 Little Mermaid. It was a far cry from any Disney based tale and ended in the weirdest fashion.

Australian cabaret star Meow Meow (Melissa Madden Gray) reenacts Hans Christian Andersen’s original 1837 Little Mermaid. It was a far cry from any Disney-based tale and ended in the weirdest fashion.

It was a tale of happiness. Not what she was displaying as she sullenly walked on stage with her fishnet stockings and glittery bodice. She was in tears and needed to figure out what the secret to happiness was and where she could find true love. Diving deep into her sub-conscious she realises it’s shallow. Her femininity and persona tell us she’s serious about getting to the bottom of her man drought.

Accompanied by the Siren Effect Orchestra, her somber alto voice delivers powerful ballads from Amanda Palmer and Radiohead. Gray poses many questions in her pursuit of happiness. How far does one need to change themselves and how much should we expect from a potential lover?

Guest appearance by Chris Ryan who plays the potential love interest is not worthy of Gray’s character. Ryan’s character adds a wholesome flavour to this sassy play. Volunteers are yelled at to comply with Gray’s requests accompany her love song. They freely wear colorful wigs and mermaid tails. One is told to bend down as he blocks her view from the eager crowd.

Annoying, and loud crowd goers were my only complaints about the evening. The constant need to shout out at the most inappropriate times trying to get Ryan to take his clothes off ruined the final scenes of the show.

Gray quickly snapped back at the unruly lady and made sure everyone else was listening. “We’re not on TV you know, we can hear you,” yells Gray. This shut her up for the closing scene and allowed the show to go on. In the end, she does discover some kind of happiness and feels a lot better about her future.

Meow Meow was full of entertaining anecdotes and catchy one liners that every member in the audience could relate to. A joy and pleasure to have seen and a delight for everyone in attendance.

Romana Trego