Everyone’s favourite childhood ocean tale is transforming the home of Maltese pantomime – Teatru Manoel in Valletta – into an underwater realm from the 22nd December 2019 until the 5th January 2020.
However, in true panto style, the familiar fable will present a few unexpected twists and turns along the way. In the story, the rebellious mermaid Ariel, dreams of exploring the world above the surface but is forbidden from doing so by her father, King Triton. Meanwhile, Ariel’s forgetful fish friend, Doreen, drives everyone crazy – Ariel’s nanny, Dame Bormaljotta, most of all.
All the while, Prince Rubino is looking for his missing father, King Barbakannella. And the evil sea witch Ursoola Minnofs is planning to take over the underwater kingdom with the help of her scheming minions, Morina and Skorfina.
While contemporary jokes are woven into the script, panto is a style of theatre with characteristic, traditional elements that the audience expects. “I’m very traditional when it comes to pantomime,” explains director Chris Gatt, “I like the way the various elements are stirred into this Christmas pudding of entertainment.”
Together with the well-known story, audiences will spot some familiar faces too. Leading the stellar cast is renowned local performer Edward Mercieca, who steps into the heels of the Dame and also produces the show.
“Panto is a unique genre where the actor breaks the fourth wall continuously,” he smiles, “I think I’ve played all the roles except Fairy in my panto career! I find, however, that the Dame suits my personality.”
Among a chorus of sea creatures, zombie pirates and fast-footed sailors, the cast includes Edward Mercieca as the Dame, Katherine Brown as Ursoola Minnofs, Nikki Cassar as Ariel, Tezara Saliba as Prince Rubinu, Karen Decelis as Fairy Lou Ellen, and Joe Depasquale as King Triton. The panto also features the work of musical director Kris Spiteri, choreographer Luisa Fenech Conti and vocal coach Analise Cassar.
FM Theatre’s The Little Mermaid – A Panto Under The Sea will be staged at the Teatru Manoel, Valletta, with performances on the 22nd, 23rd, 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th December 2019 and the 2nd, 3nd, 4th January 2020 at 8.00 pm. There will also be matinee performances at 3.00 pm on the 22nd, 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th December 2019, and on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th January 2020.
Booking details and more information are available on the Teatru Manoel website, via email on email@example.com or by calling 2124 6389.