This week Shrek The Musical opened at The Grand Opera House following a record-breaking UK and Ireland Tour. Shrek is one of those films you can watch every time it’s on TV and it never gets any less funny!
If you don’t know the story (and I’m sure you do) the musical follows Shrek, the ogre, and his tag-along Donkey as they set off on a quest to rescue Princess Fiona from her tower, which is guarded by a fire-breathing dragon.
Shrek’s swamp has been taken over by fairytale misfits, exiled by the ‘vertically challenged’ Lord Farquaad, and the only way to regain control of his swamp is to bring the Princess to the Lord so they become husband and wife (and Farquaad can become king!)
The musical is based on the Oscar-winning film, with familiar characters, and even more familiar lines (You’re so wrapped up in layers, onion boy!).
I had high expectations for this show, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The cast includes X-Factor star Amelia Lily as Princess Fiona, who plays the beautiful, if slightly crazy, princess perfectly. What a singing voice!
Then there’s Shrek, played by Steffan Harri who takes over two hours in makeup every night to transform into the big, green ogre! Steffan captures the awkwardness of Shrek well, with his one-liners and self-conscious, if aloof, manner. Of course, Shrek wouldn’t be Shrek without his ‘noble steed’ Donkey, played by Marcus Ayton, who is bold and sassy, with plenty of attitude!
But for me, the star of the show was Lord Farquaad, played by Samuel Holmes. He had the audience eating out of this hands. Samuel was on his knees with some comical short legs to depict Farquaad’s short stature. The way he pranced around the stage, with creepy actions to match, was just hilarious.
Over 23 actors sang and danced their way through the 2.5 hour musical, with stunning set design (especially the huge dragon!). It ended just as I hoped it would- a big rendition of ‘I’m a believer‘.
I would highly recommend you go to see the show if you’re a fan of the film. It’s clever, it’s funny and it’s heartwarming. What a great night.
Shrek The Musical is running at The Grand Opera House until Sunday 21 October.