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Queer Musical Parody of 'The Little Mermaid' Is Making a Splash Across the Pond

Queer Musical Parody of 'The Little Mermaid' Is Making a Splash Across the Pond


Unfortunate:The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch first made waves on UK stages in 2022 – and it's returning this year.

Ursula is one of the most memorable characters from Disney's classic 1989 The Little Mermaid, and the queer musical parody Unfortunate tells her story in an entirely new way.

Disney's live-action remake of The Little Mermaid hit theaters last week, giving a fresh set of audiences the chance to see Ursula, the tentacled sea witch, brought to life onscreen.

This time, Melissa McCarthy took on the role opposite Halle Bailey's Ariel and Jonah Hauer-King's Prince Eric. McCarthy brought plenty of drag-inspired energy to her interpretation of Ursula, a character originally inspired by legendary drag queen Divine.

For fans of The Little Mermaid who think the queer-coded sorceress deserves her own vehicle, look no further than Unfortunate:The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch. Following in the footsteps of Broadway's Wicked, as well as films like Cruella and Maleficent, Unfortunate centers the perspective of an iconic villain, allowing her to claim the spotlight after years in the background.

In the show, Ariel plays second fiddle to Ursula, who finally has the opportunity to tell her side of the story – and to do it in her characteristically bombastic way. Boasting a poppy original soundtrack from composer Tim Gilvin and raunchy humor befitting its protagonist, Unfortunate became a hit when it toured the UK last fall. Upstaged Manchester called it "a tale of scandal, sex, and sorcery that you won’t want to miss."

Fat Rascal Theatre, the creators of Unfortunate, announced on Twitter that the production would return to the London stage later this year before beginning another UK tour in early 2024.

“She’s a fat woman who is hot and tells you about it,” Daniel Foxx, the musical's co-creator, told PinkNews. “Ursula is a prime example of everything we love: bad-ass, very funny, ambitious, business-like, and cutthroat, she is so unapologetic. She embodies loving yourself and being no-nonsense about that.”

Foxx co-created Unfortunate with Robyn Grant.

Grant told the outlet that Ursala is a vain character. "She spends most of the musical putting makeup on and looking in the mirror, with a gorgeous butch haircut, shaking her ass and boobs in all her vampy songs. The Little Mermaid would be very boring without her,” Grant said.

“There is something so inherently queer about villains because they aren’t conforming to a standard,” Foxx explained. “They are not living up to an heroic ideal around fitting into society. A villain is trying to shake things up and live by their own rules. [Ursula] is the most fabulous example of that.”

The theatre has released a website where visitors can sign up to their mailing list for updates on the new tour.

“There is so much gay, queer culture that has influenced popular music today,” Foxx told PinkNews. “There are plenty of homophobes dancing to house music not realizing it was made by queer Black people. So, we are folding all this history into the show and bringing queerness center stage.”

Grant added, “In the face of all the terrible things happening in the world, this show is, at its heart, a joyful party, a celebration of the underdog.”

You can watch the trailer for Unfortunate below.

Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch -

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