Camden Fringe review: Pondwife is joyful feminist retelling of The Little Mermaid

PUBLISHED: 13:51 25 August 2015 | UPDATED: 13:51 25 August 2015

Holly Norrington and Ted Lamb perform Pondwife. Picture: Will Vickers

Holly Norrington and Ted Lamb perform Pondwife. Picture: Will Vickers

Will Patrick

For any woman who grew up in the 1990s, the tagline of this Camden fringe play appeals instantly: Feminism. Mermaids. 90s music.

For me, it was a ticklist of things I adore. I was sold before it had even begun.

But the tagline and the play’s title, Pondwife, did not reveal much about what I was about to see as I sat down in a dingy room at the Camden People’s Theatre near Euston.

And to be honest, even after watching the hour-long show, I remained a little confused about what I had just seen.

But theatre duo Holly&Ted ensure that their satirical retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid is just clear enough to impart their fun, feminist allegory.

Using just a bathtub, performers Holly Norrington and Ted Lamb cleverly tell the story of a 15-year-old mermaid who discovers music – and herself - for the first time.

It’s a sweet tale of female friendship that uses minimal props to great visual effect, and the dialogue is jam-packed full of references to classic 90s cheesy pop tunes.

At times, the story gets lost amidst the frenzied, sparkly surrealism – resulting in my bemusement as the lights went up.

But in all, Pondwife is an hour’s joyful celebration of cheesy pop, feminism and nostalgia that will leave audiences with a befuddled smile throughout.

Rating: 3/5 stars.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ham&High. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Hampstead Highgate Express