The Little Mermaid, Northern Ballet review

Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield – until 24th September 2022

Reviewed by Sophie Dodworth


Northern Ballet swims in to the Lyceum theatre with this beautiful performance. Whether familiar with the Disney adaptation or not, the ballet is easy to follow with the fantastic talents that lay within the entire cast. Get ready to take a dive…

The ballet was premiered in 2017, so still relatively new, and was chosen due to its popularity. Artistic Director David Nixon CBE also wanted the challenge of creating an underwater world, which he has left no stone unturned. This stage version of The Little Mermaid follows the original theme of Hans Christian Andersen’s and with this you don’t get the typical happily-ever-after ending with it. However, there is a resonating moral to the story.

The opening scene introduces you to the wonderful life under the sea and its inhabitants, there is lots going off but this is done really elegantly as you would expect from Northern Ballet. Meeting Marilla (Abigail Prudames) the little mermaid and her sisters Erina (Rachael Gillespie) and Evelina (Dominique Larose) is a real treat, all expressive and magnetic with their exquisite stage presence. Prudames often travelling across the stage en-pointe seamlessly in her feminine and graceful manner. The way that the mermaids appear to be swimming while propped up high on fellow dancers is just so fluid and believable.

There are many notable dancers and a healthy number of cast on stage. Playing Lyr is Sean Bates and what a great character he is. He is the ballets villain and is perfect for this part. The choreography for him is so well suited and well executed. Dillion the Seahorse is played by Filippo Di Vilio, he takes on the role of Marillas best friend and adds some colour and playfulness to the piece. Prince Adair (Joseph Taylor) could charm you off your seat with his seductive gaze and masterful moves, he is such an engaging dancer and you can’t take your eyes off him.

The set portrays under the sea with excellence. The simple shell-like set doesn’t take anything away from the show but adds enough to transport you straight down to the seabed. This is complemented by some magnificent props in the way of jelly fish and other sea creatures, compliments to Kimie Nakano. Costumes are out of this world, just as they should be! Lots of sparkly and glimmering mermaids.

The entire performance is moving and enthralling as you would expect from a ballet. All the performers leave you in awe of their talent and strength. A must see for all ages.