Press Office

Smash-hit musical Unfortunate makes a splash at The Grand this May!

4 min read

Press Office

4 min read


Dive into the delightfully outrageous musical Unfortunate: The Untold Story Of Ursula The Sea Witch starring Shawna Hamic (Orange is the New Black, 1776 on Broadway) as ‘Ursula’ and River Medway (RuPaul’s Drag Race UK) as ‘Ariel’ from Tuesday 21 May to Saturday 25 May at Blackpool Grand Theatre.

Unfortunate production shot

Wave goodbye to everything you thought you knew about Disney’s favourite Diva!

Ursula the Sea Witch is back and she’s bigger, bolder and sexier than ever before and more than ready to give her take on what really happened all those years ago under the sea. This critically acclaimed parody musical sweeps into Blackpool’s Grand fresh from sensational sell-out runs and rave reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe and around the UK. Cruella told her side, and Maleficent had her moment. Now the legendary queer queen is ready to spill all in a titillating tale of sex, sorcery and suckers that’s bursting with an original hot pop soundtrack and trademark filthy humour. Don’t be the poor unfortunate soul that misses out!

Multi-talented performer Shawna Hamic is best known for playing prison officer ‘Ginger’ Copeland in the hit Netflix series Orange Is The New Black alongside top Broadway stage roles, while drag diva River Medway slayed the competition to become a firm fan favourite in season three of Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK.

Unfortunate production shot

We spoke to the dazzling star duo before the sassy stage spectacle arrived in Blackpool!

Can you tell us a bit about how you ended up playing your roles in Unfortunate?

Shawna“I had just finished playing Richard Henry Lee on Broadway and in the national tour of 1776 when I received the call asking if I’d be interested in auditioning for the role of Ursula. I hadn’t heard about the show before that moment, but Ursula has always been my favorite Disney Villain and I have always wanted to play her! So I gladly accepted the audition and it all went from there.”

River“I’ve always loved musical theatre and I trained in musical theatre too, so when this show was auditioning, I knew I had to be seen for it and after a few rounds I got the job! This is the first time I’m doing a full scale musical, so it’s been a big change to the other drag work I’ve been doing. It’s a marathon every single night but I love it.”

Are there any similarities between your personality and your character’s personality?

River“Definitely when I was younger. I can see myself in Ariel when I was around her age. I was desperate to get out of my hometown because I was bored and wanted to see the rest of the world. This is very much Ariel’s mindset, so I definitely play on that in the show.”

Shawna – “In our story Ursula had a traumatic childhood and as a big gal I experienced that myself. The name calling, the feeling of not being wanted or understood merely because you look different than most people around you. I have the tools to stay strong and keep moving ahead. I believe in myself. I think Ursula is the same. She’s gifted in ways others aren’t and has successfully made her way in a world that would prefer she fail.”

What can audiences expect from Unfortunate?

Shawna“You can expect a raunchy good time filled with laughs and songs. You’ll leave the theatre humming. You can expect to have a fun night. One we hope makes you feel better about yourself and who you are and what you bring to the world.”

River “Eye watering jokes, toe-tapping bops, and a good night out! This is a filthy, hilarious, heartwarming, parody musical anyone with a soul would absolutely love. It is a complete retelling of the story that you think you know, with all original songs and a fantastic cast. You will definitely leave wanting more!”

Unfortunate production shot

What are you waiting for? It’s time to take the plunge and book your seats now!

  • Blackpool Grand is also thrilled to be teaming up with Funny Girls, Blackpool in celebration of this unmissable musical. Anyone with a show ticket to Unfortunate will also get FREE ENTRY after the show to FUNNY GIRLS from Wednesday 22 May to Saturday 25 May! Simply present your Unfortunate show ticket at Funny Girls box office. How fabulous!

Unfortunate – The Untold Story of Ursula The Sea Witch is at Blackpool Grand Theatre from Tuesday 21 May to Saturday 25 May with evening and matinee performances.

Tickets from £15 with Group Rates and concessions for 1894 Club Members available.

Contains strong language, partial nudity, scenes of a sexual nature and flashing lights. Age Guidance 16+

Please call the Grand Theatre Box Office on 01253 290190 or visit for full listings, bookings and further information.

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