Closely based on the film and with all the characters that you know and love, Shrek The Musical is back touring the UK! It’s no surprise that the production spent it’s last tour breaking records and getting raving reviews – it’s the perfect family musical. Just like the film, it’s perfect for all ages.
Shrek is happy living alone, but a dozen fairy tale characters have been evicted from the local town (by evil Lord Farquaad) and told to live on his swamp. When Shrek visits Lord Farquaad to protest, he finds himself cutting a deal. He is to rescue a princess from a tower and he may have the deeds to his land.
Along the way he meets Donkey and rescues Princess Fiona. Things end differently to how he’d planned, but in a very good way.
Lord Farquaad (pictured above) is an epic, show stealing character played incredibly by Samuel Holmes. Sam was exceptional in the Wedding Singer which toured last year but his performance as Lord Farquaad is next level. A stunning casting. Every second that Samuel Holmes is on stage you are gripped by the sheer comedy of every expression and movement. He is exceptional especially as his character becomes more and more outrageous throughout the show. Wonderfully written, perfectly directed and delightfully executed by a master stage-craftsman.
Although it has to be said, this quality extends throughout the whole cast. Donkey is played with charm and likeability by a capable Marcus Ayton. Princess Fiona is played by Laura Main who is a joy to watch – hilarious moodswings, a great voice and a beautiful development of her character as she falls for Shrek.
Steffan Harri returns to Shrek, this time in the title role. With such an iconic character to play, it’s a fine balance and he gets it absolutely right. You are completely encapsulated in his story.
An incredible set with what must be a staggering amount of scenery and props brings unbeatable production value to the tour. Costumes need to be seen to be believed – stunning and perfect for the job in hand.
The show is absolute technical brilliance, with puppetry, swift and complicated scene changes, scripted sound effects, a huge cast and a live orchestra to work with. Did we mention they also have a full sized dragon!
The key to this show being such a triumph is no doubt in large part down to the Direction by Jason Moore and Choreography by Josh Prince. A talented cast must be great to work with, but every detail is considered and every movement feels right.
The finale is absolutely worth the wait – to finish on “I’m a believer” concludes a remarkable production. This show is the epitome of a feel good musical. Worth every penny of the ticket price – and it will only get better as the tour progresses.
Shrek plays at the Manchester Palace Theatre until Sunday 28th January, before continuing on it’s UK Tour. To book tickets visit: ATG Tickets > Shrek.