Blithely bewitching cabaret

By Amy Planner

Meow Meow’s Little Mermaid is a quirky take on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale that looks into the modern gal’s plight for romance. This cabaret performance is a quest for love explored through music, a journey that discovers the two are sometimes unescapably intertwined and a tale that proves sometimes you’ll find it where you least expect it.

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With a little burlesque, a smidge o’ circus, a touch of mermaid-esque audience participation and a whole lot of cabaret, Meow Meow has created a truly original show based on an age-old tale.

Meow Meow is a real performer’s performer. She has a voice that would silence a riot and a performance capability that would have the rebels all in a conga line in no time. Comedy Director Cal McCrystal did a fantastic job keeping the hilarity rolling, and when paired with Meow Meow’s innate sense of farce, it was utterly entertaining.

Meow’s on stage lover, Chris Ryan, enters the show quite late but has the desired effect. He has an important charisma and deserves major kudos for singing wonderfully in German, not to mention pulling off some outrageous costume moments. Ryan had a subtle presence, but perhaps that was just in comparison to Meow Meow’s tremendous allure and sparkle that we know and love.

The flow of the cabaret style show was a little unsteady in parts: Meow Meow seemed to become so wrapped up in the audience’s favourable reception that there was a little rockiness created. However, it was barely a blip on the cabaret radar as the audience awaited the next unpredictably delightful moment.

The costuming by Anna Cordingley is unique and impressively well-fitted in Meow Meow’s case. She sparkled as she crowd-surfed over the unsuspecting audience, hung from the ceiling, wriggled and writhed in a net that swung over the stage, and hobbled around in a high heel and in a ballet toe point as her ‘land legs’ grew.

Meow Meow’s Little Mermaid is certainly not for the faint of heart, unless of course your heart is faint but in desperate need of a lesson on love and a night of superbly witty entertainment.

Venue: Merlyn Theatre, The Coopers Malthouse, 113 Sturt Street, Southbank
Season: 28 Jan – 14 Feb
Tickets: Adult $65, Senior $60, Concession $50, Student & Under 30s $35

Image by Pia Johnston