Photo by Jennifer Boggett Photography

by Paul Sharpe and Helen MacGregor

The Kemptville Youth Musical Theatre Company (KYMTC) has made its fans cheer loudly for it again, with its recent production (April 13-28, 2024) of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”.  The legend of mermaids attracting human sailors and the hope that they could live together is expanded in this compelling story. This show combines fantasy, romance, family struggles, comedy, and music. The cast of 29 fills us with feelings of sweetness, righteousness, and amazement.

A collection of imaginary creatures includes a merfamily, a crab, many types of fish and seagulls. The music is mostly fast-paced and energetic, and the lovely ballads are so well sung and accompanied. The comedy is presented not just with words but with great facial expressions and improbable situations. The dance numbers are really fun to watch and involve an amazing assortment of creatures and people. The actors with main roles stay in character, some sea creatures even keeping up their rhythmic movements through all their scenes.

Ariel (Isabella Flinn) is an up-and-coming star with a beautiful lyrical voice and wonderful stage presence. Prince Eric’s (Morgan Belhumeur) tenor voice commands your attention and he sings from his heart. Ursula (Mireille Carpentier with amazing makeup), the evil sea witch, embodies her role throughout the play with her two sinuous and comedic sidekicks Flotsam (Azriel Joyce) and Jetsam (Maya Langlais). Sebastian (Olivia Pilon) entertains us with several sides to her character with wonderful expression and movement. King Triton (Alex Langlais) sings with soul and portrays the troubled father so very well. Flounder (Neve Crossman), Ariel’s sidekick, provides great comedy and dance. Scuttle (Rylie Hillier), the gull, is hilarious with wonderful dancing, facial expressions, and comedic timing. Grimsby (Maya Mohammed), Eric’s mentor, shows gravity and guidance so well for Eric as well as dancing and singing with the Gulls. Some actors play as many as eight characters, so costume changes are many and fast. The costumes themselves are works of art, some involving hours of hand assembly and painting. Ariel’s sisters played and sang their multiple roles with great character. (Alia Melville, Amelie Carsjens, Anna Fleming, Briyanna Wilberforce, Madeline Bromwich (pilot), and Pascal Petherick (Chef Louis)). Chef Louis was very funny!

The dancing sailors, sea creatures, chefs etc. were all well choreographed and so much fun to watch! They all danced and sang with gusto! (Vale Zrudlo (Windward), Hana Irfan (Leeward), Cara Klimtschuck, Eleanor Gendron, Annah Reynolds, Danieve Fifield, Elara MacGillivray, Kamryn Young, Logan Lowry, Sarah Flood, Zachary Roberts, Serena van Noppen, Violet Joyce).

The sound and lighting crew did a fabulous job. They brought in their own complete sound system so that you can hear every cast member and experience wonderful sound effects. They also brought their own lighting board, and the effects were amazing and perfectly timed. We hope that someday soon, the theatre will invest in better lighting and sound to help all the wonderful groups in our area.

The spectacular stagecraft makes us believe that we see things disappear by magic. A storm is represented by great choreography, dancers, fabric, and clever lighting. The descent of a sailor downward in the sea is surprisingly simulated. A small rowboat moves around the stage, but we cannot see how. The mermaid appears to be in a bubble bath and in seconds is dry and dressed. How do they do that? The characters are delightful, and each cast member receives some time to shine.

KYMTC has been delighting audiences and providing life-changing experiences for youth for 22 years. They have attracted dedicated volunteers (both adults and youth) who help with costumes, choreography, lighting, music, sound, set design and building, backstage crew, prop-making, hair and makeup. The youth learn valuable lessons working as part of the amazing production team!

Check out for information on upcoming productions


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