Unfortunate soundtrack – review

As you can probably imagine Ursula has been and will continue to be one of my favourite Disney villains due to her sassy one-liners and iconic song “poor unfortunate souls” but I think watchers of the little mermaid have always wanted more from the sassy sea witch but this has never happened… until now! Fat rascal clearly understands the character of Ursula, but also the effect social this character has had on the wider world, their version of this iconic character is very similar to the original but has obviously been heightened due to the fact she is the main character in this story. She is sassy, clever and extremely funny which is everything we have come to expect from this character. This show becomes popular from the fringe festival and so the song list is fairly limited but after listening to the album I believe that a full-scale Ursula musical should be made and the team at Fat Rascal should be the team to do it!

I have been following the progress of the fringe musical Unfortunate for a While now as the idea of a show that revolves around Ursula the sea-witch from the little mermaid is something that I have wanted for years! The creators at fat rascal have created a clever and entertaining musical that really does help portray the untold story of Ursula the sea-witch!

This musical deals with some very important key themes that we associate with Ursula such as body positivity and female empowerment which are obviously great. The is a whole song dedicated to female role models (which is actually the title of the song itself) that is a fosse inspired number (think cell block tango from Chicago which is obviously a song all about and performed by women.) This song makes a point to highlight an example of strong women throughout history such as Michelle Obama, Oprah, lady gaga etc and how a lack of strong female representation can affect any young women while growing up.

My favourite song from this musical had to be we didn’t make it to Disney as it was both a hilarious parody but also a critique on the lack of representation of Disney films. This song has a collection of people who have been ‘rejected’ from Disney due to their sexuality, religion, size and most hilariously a regional accent without being poor. Dealing with this issue fits so perfectly with Ursula’s mannerisms and message which was both incredibly funny but also insanely poignant. Despite all this, however, I struggle to see how this would fit into the music as a whole but this might be due to just listening to the soundtrack in isolation.

This musical does contain strong langue and also deals with important issues that may go over the heads of a younger audience and so, for this reason, I believe this is a musical for an older audience that has obviously seen the little mermaid and had a connection with the villain in this story. This idea of the original film is kept in the background of this entire musical as the creators had intertwined motifs from poor unfortunate souls as well as other Disney classics with the new music. This combination really helps the listeners imagine these big musical numbers being staged as a magnificent spectacle to watch which is one of the many reasons I cannot wait to see this musical if they ever come to Cardiff!

Overall this is a very clever musical that is familiar enough to be nostalgic but new enough to be a new musical. It’s a fun-filled show that I can’t wait to see if it ever gets the full-fledged musical experiences it deserves. My only qualm with this soundtrack is that two of the 5 songs on the sample playlist are songs sung but someone who is not Ursula where really she should be the focus of the shows and I hope this is the case when the full full soundtrack is released. I would rate this soundtrack as 4.5 stars but this may increase if I ever get a chance to see the show live!

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