Composer: Jeanine Tesori
Book and Lyrics: David Lindsay-Abaire
Director: Nigel Harman
Choreographer: Josh Prince
Designer: Tim Hatley
Lighting Designer: Hugh Vanstone
Reviewer: Lauren Humphreys
The big, green, Scottish ogre is back on the road again, delighting audiences young and old in this joyful, colourful, in-your-face, fun night out for all the family.
Based on the award-winning 2001, Dreamworks movie, Shrek and Donkey join forces to rescue Princess Fiona from imprisonment in her tower. Standing in their way are not only a fire-breathing dragon and a great big secret, but a whole host of fairy tale misfits and the evil Lord Farquaad.
Beneath the eye-popping colour and glitzy visuals, this is a story with real heart and it gently promotes a message of equality and acceptance in the best possible way: with intelligence and wit. For all the comic songs there’s a fair share of poignant and though-provoking ballads too.
This was never going to be anything other than a sure-fire hit, so beloved are the Shrek films, that coupled with the fact this truly is entertainment for the whole family. Much of the dialogue can be enjoyed at both adult and child level and a sensible start time (7pm) to accommodate the ‘school night’ crowd, make it a must-see for all the family. There’s also a challenge for musical theatre fans to see how many references they can spot to fellow West End and Broadway shows.
The main cast are solid and fine-voiced: Shrek Steffan Harri (largely) nails the Scottish accent in front of a Scottish crowd. Princess Fiona for this leg of the tour is the seemingly ubiquitous Amelia Lily who does a good job vocally and whose acting skills improve with every role she tackles, and Marcus Ayton gives an entertainingly ‘ramped up camp’ version of Donkey. But, of course, it is Samuel Holmes who steals the show with a refreshing take on the hysterical Lord Farquaad. No one can compete when he bursts on stage, not only does Holmes have impeccable comic timing, he has a fabulous voice too. Mention must be made of the multiple role playing ensemble who act wonderfully and sound sublime and the set and the transitions from scene to scene are as slick as you will see on any stage.
The night’s are getting darker, the temperature is dropping, so what better way to warm your heart and soul than to see this big-hearted beauty of a musical.
Runs until 6 October 2018 | Image: Contributed