09 April 2021
3.0 out of 5.0 stars
Last night I watched the first performance of Disenchanted on @stream_theatre, a digital production streaming this weekend only! It’s an all-women cast taking on the most well known iconic princesses, with a feminist twist to it. The idea sounds amazing, and with a powerful cast of some of the best West End talent, it sounds like a winning combination.
Tackling difficult subjects like racism and misogyny and featuring a diverse cast, it is off to a fantastic start. Showing the princesses as disillusioned and fed-up women who really just want to get away from their boring princes, there are many hilarious scenes and empowering songs. Especially the song for Pocahontas is absolutely amazing and brought me to tears, reminding audiences that the real person behind the Disney princess was a kidnapped and abused young girl.
The Little Mermaid, quite inebriated, sings about how she cannot believe she traded the seven seas for a meagre human existence, Hua Mulan speculates that the reason she is the only one who didn’t get the prince is because she doesn’t fancy boys, there were so many moments of reflection and hilarity, it was an absolute joy to watch.
I do have a few niggles though, and this might be where it shows that, while being an all-women cast, this musical was indeed written by men. Feminism should be inclusionary of ALL women’s experiences, but there are a few moments of outright slut-shaming and derogatory comments towards stay-at-home mothers. The biggest problem for me personally was an entire song dedicated to ridiculing large breasts and claiming they were overly sexual. Some women, like me, have larger breasts by nature and we’re already sick and tired of people sexualising our natural bodies and claiming clothes that cover us completely but are tight around our chests are “inappropriate” simply because of breast size. It is tiring and definitely not feminist to ridicule other women for how they look or what they wear.
However, those were a few small moments in an otherwise wonderful musical experience! If you’re a Disney fan, or tired of girly princess stories, this might be the musical for you! It’s only on this weekend, so hurry and book!