Meow Meow's Little Mermaid

1 February 2016 | 2:31 pm | Stephanie Liew

"She even sings while tumbling through the air in a harness, impressively."

Meow Meow's Little Mermaid is, as it describes itself, "a fairytale gone rogue". However, to claim that it's a "feminist subversion" of the Hans Christian Andersen story may be a stretch. There are parallels, if you look for them - themes of self-sacrifice, of inner conflict and uncertainty, of diving deep into the heart and mind. But ultimately, there is too little feminist exploration and too flimsy a plot to really justify the 'feminist subversion' tagline.

It is a cabaret though, and therefore the performance, character, music and singing takes precedence over other elements; and the effervescent Meow Meow, her song choices, and her backing band deliver an entertaining show that ranges from genuinely touching to absurd, corny, raunchy and raucous. Meow Meow's vocals are flawless, tackling songs by Megan Washington, Regina Spektor, Amanda Palmer and more - she even sings while tumbling through the air in a harness, impressively. 

Anna Cordingley's stunning 'underwater' set - clam shell lights, sparkling blue tinsel curtains, moving rock/chair, and floating ring setpiece - and Paul Jackson's lighting design immerse the audience into Meow Meow's world, and she in turn comes into ours, finding a way to physically be a part of the audience (and inviting a few members on stage for some hilarious dress-ups). The shared details of Meow Meow's love life and her vibrant persona keep the audience charmed throughout the piece.

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