The Little Mermaid, Theatre Review. Everyman Theatre, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

Adam Keast and Francis Tucker in this year’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Panto The Little Mermaid. Photograph by Robert Day, used with kind permission of the Everyman Theatre.

Cast: Danny Burns, Tom Connor, Stephanie Hockley, Adam Keast, Greg Last, Jamie Noar, Elizabeth Robin, Lucy Thatcher, Francis Tucker, Imelda Warren-Green.

Christmas is the time for the Fin-tastic, the spectacle and the promise that the coming year will be an ocean worth swimming in, that the days of floundering will be a dim a distant memory; it is the days when the special, the extraordinary and the beautiful should and must be seen with equal authority, that compassion for all be observed and to every-fin under the sea, a powerful performance and laughter ensured.

Christmas for the most famous of places by the river, by the sea, is the time when the Everyman Theatre throws opens its doors and once more revels in the joy that the Rock ‘N’ Roll Panto offers to all who make their way up to the theatre on Hope Street. It is that hope, the twinkle in the eye, the scales of justice tipped in the favour of every girl and boy, mum and dad, friends, companions, families and lovers can relate to and this year is no exception as Sarah A. Nixon and Mark Chatterton once again place before the Liverpool crowds a Christmas show that is spectacular, off the deep end and a feast for the senses.

The Little Mermaid, a first for the Rock ‘N’ Roll Panto, a story not explored in depth before, but one that catches the imagination as well as all the much loved moments and actors that fans of the long running institution have come to expect and dream of hearing all year. It may be a first for the team behind the show, from the much admired writers through to the costume designers, who pulled out all the stops to make every shell-fish demand that the audience would cry out for, work and be seen as continuing the excellent work over the year; it was a first that was honoured to its absolute best and leave one fathoming out why it hadn’t been done before.

The return of one of the city’s favourite pair of Christmas presents, Adam Keast and Francis Tucker is always enough to put a broad smile on the faces who watch the show and with the marvellous Tom Connor and Stephanie Hockley revisiting the scenes of many triumphs, this year’s show at the Everyman Theatre is once again a tale that brings Christmas to the forefront of people’s minds.

With music, laughter, the company of those you love and cannot be without, the Everyman Theatre and The Little Mermaid is the place to be.

Ian D. Hall