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Unfortunate - Theatre Royal Nottingham Review

Reviewed by Amber
Tickets for Unfortunate were gifted in exchange for an honest review.

Get ready to dive in deep and wet your seat with laughter as the hilarious show Unfortunate sets its anchor in at Nottingham Theatre Royal. 

Photo by Pamela Raith.

Shawna Hamic plays Ursula with a tantalising edge that makes you fear and love her simultaneously. Playing opposite her as Triton is the strapping Thomas Lowe, and the two certainly have chemistry off the charts, letting the audience root for their doomed romance with ease. River Medway’s Ariel earned shrieks of laughter from the audience as she proclaims her one dream – to be where the dicks are. Allie Dart does not stop, playing a medley of characters that subvert expectations and leave the audience weak-kneed. The same can be said for Julian Capolei, whose stint as Vanessa-Ursula is equal parts sexy and hilarious. The entire cast do not miss a beat, and the ease in which they take the audience from song to song, joke to joke helps to punctuate the more serious messaging Robyn Grant has woven between fish gags and suction-innuendos.

Abby Clarke’s incredible set design remains interesting and serves to keep the story going, the duo staircases leading to the helm of a grand ship are used to great effect – it is incredible that nobody ever missed a step given the speed at which those stairs were tackled. The costumes, also designed by Clarke, are a fun, modern take on the Disney character designs whilst including nods to more adult costuming – leather and rope aspects to certain costumes do not go unnoticed, as well as certain bulging areas of the ensemble as they become a school of dancing prawns in the palace kitchen at the beginning of act two. Both the set and costumes are well accompanied by Adam King’s lighting design, which helps to bridge the gap between the bright world of Atlantica and Ursula’s bottom-of-the-ocean prison. 

Photo by Pamela Raith

Another great strength of this incredibly camp and deviously engaging show is the way the cast illicit strong reactions from the audience – shocked laughter as Ariel shows off her treasures, gasps when Ursula drops particularly striking cuss words, cheers and applause when Julian Cappolei has a hot girl summer moment. The atmosphere was thrilling, earning a full ovation at the end of the show that is simply deserved after being served two hours of top-tier comedy gold.

If you’ve been reeled in and wish to find yourself fortunate enough to see Unfortunate, then tickets for the show’s time at Nottingham Theatre Royal where it runs until Saturday 29th June 2024. can be found here: Future tour dates are listed here:


Photo by Pamela Raith.

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