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Canterbury: Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid by the Northern Ballet comes to the Marlowe Theatre

By Angela Cole

The Northern Ballet is bringing a adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairytale The Little Mermaid to the county.

Telling the story of a young mermaid who is willing to give up everything she knows in the search for love, the tour is a world première and comes to Canterbury's Marlowe Theatre.

It has been choreographed and directed by artistic director David Nixon.

The Northern Ballet's production of The Little Mermaid Picture: Emma Kauldhar

“The Little Mermaid is an enchanting story and the fantastical underwater world of the mermaids evokes such beautiful imagery that it will be an excellent addition to our repertoire,” he said. “So many people have grown up with this tale and so I am looking forward to reintroducing audiences to the world beyond the waves.”

Here we meet the soloist playing Marilla, Abigail Prudames.

How well did you know the story of the Little Mermaid before this production?

I did know the story of the Little Mermaid through the Disney version – we definitely had the video in my house! The Hans Christian Andersen version isn’t as simple as the Disney version though – there’s more to get your teeth into. People just love a fairytale – adults remember it from their youth and want to share it with their children, or children find something appealing in the tale and then their imaginations take them on a journey. In a fairytale there is always a goodie or a baddie, a hero or a heroine – there is something for everyone.

Abigail Prudames gets ready to play Marilla

The title role has been created around you – how has that felt?

It’s such a special and unique experience. Every day that I have stepped into the studio with David Nixon to create more of the ballet has been different. I didn’t set any expectations for the process as I had never experienced this before. I just took each day as it came. I feel personally involved with this character.

Tell us about your character, Marilla...

She is the youngest of three mermaids. She has an immature side to her which is most apparent when she is with her friend, Dillon the seahorse. She is quite naive about the human world and can’t understand why she can’t go to the surface. She sets her sights on Prince Adair who she falls in love with. Everything on land is so completely different to her that she is in complete wonderment all the time, excited to see humans and fascinated by them. Her journey is quite a long and emotional one as she fully experiences life in the water and on the land with the humans.

The Little Mermaid is coming to the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury

Tells us about the costumes...

All the costumes I wear are so beautiful. Of course I also have a tail which has been a major factor in the creation process and learning how to dance with it! But I don’t really see the tail as part of a costume any more – it is part and parcel of being Marilla.


The Northern Ballet’s The Little Mermaid is at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury from Tuesday, November 14 to Saturday, November 18. To book tickets call 01227 787787 or visit marlowetheatre.com

Abigail Prudames as Marilla in The Little Mermaid

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