Shawna Hamic (Orange is the New Black, 1776 on Broadway) will lead the cast of the critically-acclaimed musical parody Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch at Birmingham Hippodrome from Thursday 11 to Saturday 13 April 2024 opposite Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK star River Medway as Ariel.
They are joined by Thomas Lowe (Triton), Allie Dart (Sebastian), Jamie Mawson (Eric), Julian Capolei (Grimsby) and Corrina Buchan, Jack Gray, Jamie McKillop and Milly Willows in the ensemble. Casting is by Sarah Leung CDG. Unfortunate will kick off at Southwark Playhouse Elephant for 10 weeks this winter before touring across the UK and coming to Birmingham Hippodrome in April.
Join everyone’s favourite Disney Diva, Ursula, as she gives her take on what really happened all those years ago under the sea. With an original hot pop soundtrack and trademark filthy humour, it’s time to take the plunge and dive into this year’s hottest night out. Cruella told her side, and Maleficent’s had her moment. Now the legendary queer queen is ready to spill, in this tell-all tale of sex, sorcery and suckers. With a new script and production, the latest version of this hit show is bigger, bolder and sexier than ever before.
The smash-hit show is written by Robyn Grant (who also directs) and Daniel Foxx, with music, arrangements and orchestrations by Tim Gilvin. The musical features set, costume and puppet design by Abby Clarke, choreography by Melody Sinclair, additional orchestrations by Nikki Davison and Joe Davison for Auburn Jam, musical supervision and direction by Arlene McNaught, lighting design by Adam King, sound design by Lucy Baker, Oscar Thompson and Will Thompson, flying and effects by John Maddox for Suspended Illusions, make-up design by Maya Lewis, intimacy and fight direction by Claire Llewellyn for RC-Annie, production management by Titch Gosling, assistant direction by Stephenson Ardern-Sodje, costume supervision by Sian Clare and puppets built by Aled Williams. The band is completed by Dejeanté Hinks on guitar and Becky Slater on drums.
Shawna Hamic plays Ursula. Shawna’s theatre credits include 1776 (Broadway and US National Tour), The Last Ship (Broadway and US National Tour), Les Misérables (US National Tour), Kinky Boots (US National Tour), Miss You Like Hell (The Public Theater, Off-Broadway) and My Paris (Terris Theater, Connecticut). TV credentials include Orange is the New Black, The Time Traveller’s Wife, Halston, Russian Doll, New Amsterdam, That Damn Michael Che, Bull and BRUISED.
River Medway plays Ariel. After appearing on the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, River quickly became a fan favourite. River has since travelled the UK on various tours, including Pick’n’Mix, The Main Event and the official Drag Race UK Season 3 tour. In 2021, she also briefly joined the cast as Alice in Tuckshop’s Dick Whittington (Phoenix Theatre, West End). River continues to headline Pride events and club gigs across the country. Most recently, River played Sister Mary Julie Andrews in Death Drop: Back In The Habit (West End and UK Tour).
Thomas Lowe plays Triton. He is a Manchester born singer, actor, TV host and composer who was catapulted to early stardom as a member of the teenage pop band NORTH and SOUTH. Thomas’s West End credits include Les Misérables, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s original production of CATS, and creating the lead role in Boy George’s workshop of Taboo. Thomas’s US credits include Back to Bacharach and David (Hollywood premier), Les Misérables (Hollywood Bowl), and VEGAS! THE SHOW (Planet Hollywood Casino and Resort), where he paid tribute to Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Tom Jones and Elton John.
Allie Dart plays Sebastian. Her theatre credits include 2:22 A Ghost Story (Apollo Theatre, West End), Cinderella (The Hounslow Arts), Unfortunate; The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch (UK Tour 2022), Jack Frost (Norwich Playhouse), Waiter! There’s a Murder in my Soup! (Troubadour Wembley Park), Vulvarine: A New Musical (King’s Head Theatre and UK Tour), Tom and Bunny Save the World (UK Tour), Beauty and The Beast; A Musical Parody (King’s Head Theatre and UK Tour), The Case of the Missing Monsters (Dorich House), Buzz: A New Musical (Pleasance Theatre) and Always Easier for the Others (The Yard Theatre). TV Credits include The Stand Up Sketch Show (ITV) and Derren Brown: Fear & Faith (Channel 4)
Jamie Mawson plays Eric. His theatre credits include previous runs of Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch (UK tour), Vulvarine: A New Musical (King’s Head Theatre and UK tour), Buzz: A New Musical (Pleasance), Waiter, There’s a Murder in my Soup! (Troubadour Wembley Park), Tom and Bunny Save the World (Assembly and UK tour), Beauty and the Beast: A Musical Parody (King’s Head Theatre and UK tour) and Macbeth (The Young Shakespeare Company UK tour).
Julian Capolei plays Grimsby. Julian’s theatre credits include Cabaret (Kit Kat Club) starring Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley, Disney’s Aladdin the Musical (Prince Edward Theatre), Tommy (UK Tour), Peter Pan (Derby Playhouse), Sinbad the Sailor (Theatre Royal Stratford East). Julian has choreographed Billie The Kid: A New Musical (Vaudeville Theatre) and has also worked on music videos for Belle & Sebastian and Hot Since 82.
Corrina Buchan is part of the ensemble. Her theatre credits include Death Drop: Back in the Habit (West End & UK Tour), Drac & Jill (Wardrobe Theatre), Little Women In Black (Wardrobe Theatre), Sam Wanamaker Festival 2019 (Shakespeare’s Globe), Tracing Grace (West Yorkshire Playhouse, Theatre 503), S A F A R I (North Wall Arts Centre, Oxford), Catalyst: Alchymy Festival 2019 (North Wall Arts Centre, Oxford) Mycorrhiza (Space Arts Centre) Bat Boy The Musical (Citizens Theatre, Glasgow) and Godspell (Citizens Theatre, Glasgow).
Jack Gray is part of the ensemble. Jack’s theatre credits include Badgers Can’t Be Friends (Southwark Playhouse, Kings Head Theatre), Cockfosters (Turbine Theatre), Anticlimax (Theatre503), Five Short Plays Loosely Linked by the Theme of Crime (Drayton Arms Theatre), and Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch (UK tour). Jack recently finished filming Side Hustle, a short film due for release in 2024, which he wrote and starred in.
Jamie McKillop is part of the ensemble. His theatre credits include Break My Windows (The Traverse Theatre), The Dolls Dragged Up (Scottish Tour) and The Bookie (Cumbernauld Theatre). Jamie has been the resident dame in panto at Websters Theatre, Glasgow for the past 10 years. He is also an established Drag Artist.
Milly Willows is part of the ensemble. Milly is a 2023 Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts graduate. Her credits whilst training include Sweeney Todd, Big Fish, The Wild Party, Into the Woods (Italia Conti). Other credits include Scandalgate (workshop) and 2023 Winner of The Stephen Sondheim Society Performer of the Year Competition (Sondheim Theatre).
Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch will run at Birmingham Hippodrome from Thursday 11 – Saturday 13 April 2024. Tickets for Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch can be booked at www.birminghamhippodrome.com or by calling 0844 338 5000*
*0844 calls will cost you 4.5p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.