Meow Meow, diva in residence at the International Festival this year, has made The Hub her home for the month. Glitter and glimmer bedeck the club-like venue – which, helpfully, even has its own onsite bar – and as we settle in, we get ready for a night of decadent entertainment.

In her own reimagining of The Little Mermaid (the Hans Christian Andersen version, not the Disney one), Meow Meow seeks true love, but how much is she willing to give up to find it? As we delve deeper into her subconscious, we meet her fantasies, in the form of amputated body parts, and start to wonder if they’re really worth all the hassle. Coupled with a blow up sex doll version of herself, complete with its own corset and black wig, Meow Meow serenades us with songs of desire, loneliness, and heartbreak, to name a few.

Her voice is simply stunning as she belts out the original songs, written especially for the production by the likes of Amanda Palmer and Megan Washington. She carries an impressive amount of charisma in her voice, able to create character and drama through tone and musical flourishes alone as she verges from vain and seductive to hysterically anxious. When her prince does arrive, he comes in the form of a workman there to fix her ambitious set design-in an excellently post-modern twist. Plenty of double entendres ensue and the abundance of gags – both intelligently self-aware and simultaneously silly – keeps the audience enthralled.

Some of the narrative is a little lost in amongst all of the shenanigans and with that, some opportunities to highlight the feminist aspect to the show are left to the side. However, that’s not to say there aren’t some poignant moments to Meow Meow’s Little Mermaid. Her version of Radiohead’s Fake Plastic Trees is especially beautiful and adds an extra dimension to the whole show.

Words: Chiara Margiotta

Picture: Pia Johnson

Meow Meow’s Little Mermaid, The Hub, Aug 3-27 (not 8, 15, 22), 10.30pm

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