Disney villain. Octo-woman. Plus-size icon. But who is the woman behind the tentacles? From the multi award-winning Fat Rascal Theatre, creators of sell-out hit musicals Buzz and Vulvarine, comes the untold story of Ursula the sea witch. Unfortunate is in Edinburgh for the Fringe for the month of August, so The Fountain spoke with producer, Laura Elmes, about the show as well as her own plans for the Fringe.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting?
Super exciting! It’s the best place in the world to try out new work, and of course home of the macaroni cheese pie.
TF: Unfortunate certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise?
So it’s a musical parody about the untold story of Ursula the sea witch. She’s one of Disney’s most iconic characters and certainly the only one of her kind; a plus size, nasty, sexy and confident woman who is willing to go after what she wants no matter the cost. She deserves a better ending and we’re here to give it to her. Think of the show like Wicked’s fatter, naughtier, purpler sister.
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
We’re massive Disney fans passionate about creating funny, female lead musical theatre. After the success of our gender swapped Beauty and the Beast parody, the character of Ursula was one we really wanted to explore and what with the story of The Little Mermaid being about the value of a young woman’s voice it seemed like a really obvious option for us! Our humour is fast, witty and very British. We’re inspired by amazing comedy writers like Victoria Wood and Phoebe Waller-Bridge who just write relatable but daft humour so damn well. As a company we have a very playful energy, a bit Mischief Theatre, a bit Team Starkid, 100% Rascal.
TF: What are your plans for the Fringe, having been before are there any tips or musts you would offer to first-time performers?
As we’re taking up two shows this year we’re essentially planning on sleeping and making large batches of team pasta when we’re not performing. Oh and trying to avoid the pull of various discos, club bars and Massaoke nights… Our top tips are: Bring all of your pants. Eat your greens. Go to the dog café.
TF: And what are your future plans beyond Unfortunate?
We’re going to be bringing Unfortunate back out pretty soon so watch this space. We’re also back in development with our show Buzz, the musical history of the vibrator, which is being scaled up for a full scale production and our show Tom and Bunny Save the World, which will be getting a second life as a podcast musical!
You can see Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch at Underbelly, Bristo Square from 31st July – 26th August (Not 14th) at 18:55. For tickets, please visit www.edfringe.com