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INTERVIEW with Unfortunate cast members Allie Dart and Jamie Mawson in Glasgow

Updated: May 2



Unfortunate cast members Allie Dart and Jamie Mawson at Glasgow Pavilion Theatre

Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch arrives at Glasgow Pavilion Theatre next week.


From missing trousers to sneaky pigs, I sat down with Allie Dart and Jamie Mawson from the cast to get the latest gossip from Under the Sea.




 

Unfortunate is the critically acclaimed musical parody of The Little Mermaid. It follows Disney Diva Ursula as she tells her side of the story. It's filled with filthy humour and a banging pop soundtrack, but with a new script and a larger production, I want to know what's changed and why audiences should come see the Octo-Goddess in Glasgow.


Let's have a chat with Allie Dart (Sebastian) and Jamie Mawson (Eric) to find out more:


Ursula the sea witch. Unfortunate UK Tour. Photo credit: Pamela Raith

I first saw a production of Unfortunate in the big purple cow at Edinburgh Fringe in August 2022. You've both been with the show since then. Other than casting, how has the production changed in the past 2 years? Can I expect any surprises from the 2024 version?


ALLIE: The show actually started all the way back in 2019 and has grown every time we’ve done it.


JAMIE: We performed at the Edinburgh Fringe and went on a small tour including an abandoned Mothercare in Sheffield (Theatre Deli) so we’ve come on such a journey with Unfortunate. To now be performing on some of the UK’s most renowned stages is amazing as it’s always where we wanted this show to go!


This time around everything is bigger and better! The set, the cast, the puppets and the costumes. There are new songs, new characters and we dive deeper into Ursula’s history and even see her as a baby octopup!


Wow, what an incredible journey.

What has made you stay with the show / come back to the show?


We have been working together for years now and each show that Robyn* writes always makes us laugh out loud. To be part of something so unique, that audiences go wild for, is a pleasure and it makes you want to come back and spread the joy to even more people! There aren’t a lot of shows like this out there. We get to play such fun characters too!


*Writer / Director Robyn Grant


Unfortunate musical UK Tour Cast. Photo: Pamela Raith

Other than a couple of the leads, the cast I saw at the fringe all played multiple characters, had lots of costume changes and madcap puppets to contend with. I was in awe! Do you still have so many quick changes? That must be difficult in a larger theatre space?


Yes!! It is still the crazy multi-role show that people have seen before. We are lucky enough to have a cracking ensemble this time too. They bring every number to life and play numerous characters so lots of quick changes all round. We all get a lot of help with our changes from our amazing wardrobe team who are waiting for us in the wings ready to transform us into our next characters. Some changes even happen on stage but you’ll have to come and watch the show to see that!!


Have you ever had any mishaps?


JAMIE: A couple of years ago, one of my quick changes was at such a speed that I did not make it on with my trousers.


I loved the puppets by Abby Clarke. Can I expect to see them in Glasgow?


Abby’s puppets have had a major glow up. Because we’re going to much larger venues than ever before we need everyone to be able to see these fabulous fish so she’s made them even bigger and better.


Unfortunate musical UK Tour Cast. Photo: Pamela Raith

Allie, you play Sebastian the Jamaican red crab. Sebastian allegedly has a Trinidadian accent in the original Disney film as the actor couldn't do Jamaican! Do you play Sebastian with an accent? Were you allowed to choose which? Have you faced any challenges with this?


My Sebastian is from County Cork in Ireland. The Irish was written in by Robyn and Dan and makes for a very fun reveal when we first meet him. I love doing accents so when I heard they wanted him Irish I was really pleased because it meant I got to practice. I do a few accents in the show so the main challenge is making sure they all sound as authentic as possible and don’t just merge into one!


Jamie, you play Eric. I can't say too much without spoilers, but do you feel Eric is treated unfairly / portrayed unkindly in Unfortunate? You must have so much fun playing this role!


No, I don’t think that he’s portrayed unkindly. I think the character treats other members of the story unfairly due to his egocentricity. He is blissfully unaware of how his actions affect others so he puts his crew through the ringer!


What is your favourite scene to play in Unfortunate?


JAMIE: My favourite scene is near the beginning of the show when we’re in Atlantica. I play King Neptune and I have a new scene with Triton as father and son and a brand new song too which is really fun!


ALLIE: There are so many cracking moments in the show but one of my favourite scenes to play has to be the new opening of Act 2. A new character I get to play is Chef Colette. Act 2 opens in Colette’s kitchen and she’s making Ariel her signature dish…fresh crab. It’s fishy chaos and so much fun!


Allie Dart and River Medway in Unfortunate. Photo: Pamela Raith

What is the most difficult scene to play and why?


Stamina-wise we would have to say ‘We Didn’t Make It To Disney’ is the hardest as it’s such a lyrical song and we’re running all over the set with puppets too! Getting into it is straight after another big number and involves some of the quickest changes in the show!


The song 'How Unfortunate' is an absolute banger! I love it. Do you have a favourite song from the show?


ALLIE: My favourite song is The Banishment sung by Jamie as King Neptune. It’s such an ear worm and the atmosphere that goes with it on stage makes it an electric moment. It’s also such a turning point in the show as we find out what actually made Ursula the ‘villain’ we know her as today.


JAMIE: My favourite song is Suckin’ On You. The show at that point is starting to bubble and that song turns the turbo jets on and, before you know it, we’re having a musical jacuzzi.


Are there any members of the cast or crew notorious for playing jokes or trying to put others off their lines?


Everyone in the cast is so much fun and we all get very silly backstage. We also have a small toy pig, that we call ‘Sneaky Pig’, that we’ve had for 7 years. It’s done many shows with us and is a treasured member of the cast. The aim of the game is to hide it in props/costume backstage for cast/crew to find. We love that this tradition is still going all these years later. P.S. Where is sneaky pig..?


Unfortunate is coming to the Glasgow Pavilion Theatre from 30th April to 4th May 2024. Have you ever performed in Glasgow before? Does it hold any significance for you?


We’ve never been to Glasgow before but Scotland always holds a special place in our heart because of performing at the Edinburgh Fringe for so many years. It will also be Allie’s Birthday whilst we’re in Glasgow so we’re going have a proper Scottish celebration. Two of the cast are from Glasgow so we’re super excited for them to show us the sights too!


River Medway and Jamie Mawson in Unfortunate. Photo: Pamela Raith

Ursula's story in 'Unfortunate' made so much sense to me! I much preferred it over the original in 'The Little Mermaid'. Which other famous character do you think deserves the chance to tell their side of the story much like Maleficent, Elphaba (Wicked) and Ursula?


For me it's Miss Hannigan from Annie (and her brother Rooster). They are the best characters in Annie! Why does Miss Hannigan run an orphanage if she hates little girls? Why is she drunk and mean all the time? Just what is their background?! There is so much to explore. And if we could have Carol Burnett, Tim Curry and Bernadette Peters reprise their original roles from the film - all the better (unlikely, I know!)


Miss Hannigan sounds epic!! What a great idea.


JAMIE: I think it’s a toss up between Miss Trunchbull’s from Matilda and Hades from Hercules.


ALLIE: I would love to see Scar from The Lion King. How did he get the scar? Why does he hate his brother? Seeing a little cub Scar would be adorable too.


OMG Scar! Yes please. *Note to producers: Please make this happen!!!


Any final words?


This tour has been fantastic so far and we just want to give a shout out to our amazing crew, keeping us going from venue to venue and working into the wee hours of the morning. We couldn’t do it without you!


Also, thanks to all who’ve come to see Unfortunate over the years for all the support. We’re so excited to come to Glasgow! Come and join us under the sea!


🩷 Thank you so much to Allie and Jamie for their time and insights. That was so much fun. I'll see you all in Glasgow for some more! 🌊


📸 Production photos: Pamela Raith



 

Unfortunate Glasgow details and tickets


Unfortunate tours off the back of a phenomenal 10-week London run, with rave reviews and six Off West End Theatre Award nominations – one of the highest for any show in the past year.


Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch plays Glasgow Pavilion Theatre from Tuesday 30th April to Saturday 4th May.


⌚ Running time: 2 hours 35 minutes including interval


🎟️ Tickets: £17 - £38



AGE GUIDANCE: 16+

Contains strong language, partial nudity, scenes of a sexual nature and flashing lights.


📺 Watch the video trailer for Unfortunate here:



Unfortunate: Full venue listings


Oxford Playhouse

Tuesday 23rd April – Saturday 27th April 2024


The Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow

Tuesday 30th April - Saturday 4th May 2024


New Theatre, Cardiff

Tuesday 7th May - Saturday 11th May 2024


Palace Theatre, Southend

Tuesday 28th May - Saturday 1st June 2024


Northcott Theatre, Exeter

Tuesday 4th June – Saturday 8th June 2024


Grand Opera House, York

Tuesday 11th June - Saturday 15th June 2024


Churchill Theatre, Bromley

Tuesday 18th June - Saturday 22nd June 2024


Theatre Royal, Nottingham

Tuesday 25th June – Sunday 30th June 2024


Theatre Royal, Newcastle

Tuesday 2nd July – Thursday 4th July 2024


Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Saturday 6th July – Sunday 7th July 2024


Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton

Thursday 11th July – Sunday 14th July 2024


PRESENTED BY LAURA ELMES FOR WILDPARK ENTERTAINMENT, RUNAWAY ENTERTAINMENT, THE VAULTS AND DIANNE ROBERTS

BOOK AND LYRICS BY ROBYN GRANT & DANIEL FOXX AND MUSIC BY TIM GILVIN


 

Unfortunate UK Tour Cast


Shawna Hamic Ursula

River Medway Ariel

Thomas Lowe Triton

Allie Dart Sebastian

Jamie Mawson Eric

Julian Capolei Grimsby

Corrina Buchan Ensemble

Jack Gray Ensemble

Jamie McKillop Ensemble

Milly Willows Ensemble


 

Unfortunate UK Tour cast interviews: Allie Dart (Sebastian) and Jamie Mawson (Eric), Glasgow Pavilion Theatre, April 2024, Musical Theatre.





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