Pond Wife is everything ‘90s from start to finish: from the jelly shoes the performers wear, to the pop soundtrack, to the glittery props. Based loosely on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid, Pond Wife follows a mermaid in her aim to walk on land so she can listen to pop music.
While the show may pass the Bechdel test, the feminist message is lost in a flurry of tired dialogue pulled from 90s hits and sporadic dance routines. The two actors perform as multiple characters each and maintain a strong chemistry, but unfortunately the comedic elements often fall flat, leaving the production more awkward than tongue-in-cheek at times .
Some of the low key production techniques – including glitter and bubbles scattered across the stage by way of a fan – add charm and work with the fun of the show, but the dialogue requires more work to hit its mark.
Words: Chiara Margiotta
Pond Wife, Underbelly Cowgate, Aug 4-28, 1.20pm