Hans Christian Andersen would be rolling in his grave if he knew what Trevor Ashley had done to his beloved fairytale. And Jennifer Coolidge will be dialling her lawyer when she finds out what Trevor Ashley has done to her lips, hair and accent. But it wouldn’t be a Trevor Ashley panto if he didn’t skid dangerously close to the edge – and there are plenty of skid-marks in The White Mermaid or The Little Lotus.
In this, his latest spoof with long-time collaborator, Phil Scott, Ashley merges three cultural icons — The Little Mermaid, The White Lotus, and Carlotta —into one soggy clump of a show. It’s hilarious, it’s cringe-worthy, it’s an unpolished pearl. It’s what we have come to expect from Ashley and Scott.
The entire cast from last year’s Moulin Scrooge has returned for TLMoTWL. Sexy boys, Jakob Ambrose, Stephen Madsen, and Jarrod Moore bring beauty as well as exciting dance moves to the show. Ashley and the magnificent Carlotta AM bring themselves, which is more than enough.
There is plenty of unsavoury humour and one or two raunchy visual gags, but some of the funniest moments come from slip-ups and consequent ad-libs, especially between Ashley and Carlotta.
The songs in the show are a mixture of pop hits, classics and a few tunes from the Disney film, The Little Mermaid — all with reimagined lyrics that the original songwriters could never have imagined. Ashley has some showstoppers, proving he is more than a pretty piece of tail.
Carlotta, who plays the evil sea-witch, Gaviscon, has a fabulous, tentacled costume (which gives her one of the best one-liners in the show) and make-up and hair reminiscent of Bette Davis in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? The audience already adores her, so all she needs to do is walk on and walk off to get resounding applause.
This is not a family show, nor a first-date show, nor a show you’d take your Hillsong friends to. But if you’re not easily offended and you need a belly laugh, go get yourself a ticket.