Shrek – The Musical

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Shrek reached our screens in 2001, would you have believed it was that long ago?! It was a great success as a feature animation, with fantastic characters, a brilliant storyline and superb music. As an animation it was possible to achieve the impossible as it was complete fantasy – so how does this transfer to the stage with real life with humans?

Exceptionally well is the answer!!

The theatre show sticks very closely to the story: Shrek, an ogre lives in his happy swamp until a crowd of fairy-tale characters decide to live there too as they have been banished from the kingdom by Lord Farquaad. To get Lord Farquaad to change his mind, Shrek has to go on a quest to rescue Princess Fiona from the dragon guarded tower. Which he does, with his new friend Donkey who come along for the ride. Shrek and Princess Fiona fall in love, and she reveals her secret…

Using all of the stage area, incredible props and big screen imagery this production managed to create a brilliant atmosphere, stunning scenery and create an environment which completely told the story in full. Even the pink dragon puppet was fantastic.

There was a scene or two that was used as a filler which may not really have been needed, however, with the set change it was understandable they needed a bit more time to get the stage and props sorted, so they are forgiven.

There was delightfully lots of script to tell the story, filled with all the jokes, humour and physical comedy, which reached expectations. In addition this was mixed with some great original songs specifically written for the show. The songs were catchy, fun and exceptionally well executed – fantastic singers all the way through!

The costumes were superb and well done to the cast for handling some of the more challenging ones, particularly Donkey who was in a full on furry suit all night and Shrek who was well padded and very green. All costumes were creative and fun, which could be seen from the outset, especially when all the fairy-tale characters came on the stage. The most notable thing is that a lot of the cast were playing multiple characters and therefore the speed of the costume changes, including the make-up, was impressive, especially as you think they were in/out of all the characters during the show. The most striking change was Princess Fiona on her wedding day from human to ogre – now that was quick!

The actors were amazing at bringing this story to life, they all oozed fun and made it a real joy to watch. After all the bowing and clapping, we had a rendition of ‘I’m A Believer’ where we all stood up and danced. It was a great, feel-good show.

Main Cast:
Shrek – Antony Lawrence
Princess Fiona – Imogen Bailey
Donkey – Brandon Lee Sears
Lord Farquud – James Gillan


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