As eccentric as its name suggests, Meow Meow’s Little Mermaid takes its audience on a wild singing, dancing, crowd-surfing voyage into an aquatic unreality where anything goes, with original songs and compositions by collaborators including Amanda Palmer, Kate Miller-Heidke and Megan Washington.
Meow Meow’s raucous tale of unfruitful loving and love-making sees Hans Christian Anderson’s bittersweet tale of unrequited love and redemption given a raunchy modern makeover. Borderline-maniacal rants move into thoughtful monologues on the many sufferings we endure for love’s sake as we are guided through her romantic fantasies in all their unearthly glory.
However, that is not to say that this performance, directed by Michael Kantor, is not riotously entertaining. Meow Meow observes that she seems to be ‘not waving, but clowning’ her way through the murky waters of dating in the Tinder Age. Her performance proves herself a sort of everywoman – though perhaps her taste is a little fishier than most. Cavorting around the glittering stage, Meow Meow introduces us to her ex-lovers in bits and pieces (Brad the torso being one of her particular favourites), and to the fantasy men she wills to become real.
One moment we are held in fits of laughter as Meow Meow introduces us to her sex doll replica – complete with gaping mouth and bed head – the next we are pouring our heart out to her as she holds the blow-up to her in a slow dance, revealing the love she craves. Indeed, there is a dark feminist edge to all the bubble-blowing pantomime wackiness, as Meow Meow wrestles between confident go-getter and hopeless victim of heartbreak.
Meow Meow searches desperately for her Prince Charming, at one point even employing several audience members to wear iridescent tails and pastel wigs to audition as her prince. She pines for ‘the one’, or, at least one of the ones, as there have been many ones for Meow Meow, a relatable conundrum in this modern age of Tinder and casual dating.
A must for fans of Bridget Jones and the like, Meow Meow’s Little Mermaid appeals to the desperate romantic within us, embracing the ridiculous hoops we jump through in the dating game. A script saturated with nautical puns and double-entendres combines with an energetic performance as Meow Meow breast-strokes her way through musical numbers in mid-air; her nipple management alone is enough to merit a watch.
Meow Meow’s Little Mermaid
The Hub, Castlehill
Until 27th August
Photo credit: Pia Johnson