Review: Shrek The Musical – Be prepared to be swept Far Far Away

Shrek The Musical is currently playing at Theatre Royal Drury Lane until February 2012.  Previews ran from 6th May to 14th June.  From 20th June, evening performances are at 7.30pm Mondays and Wednesdays to Saturdays; matinee performances are at 3pm on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.  Tuesdays, Shrek and Fiona will be taking a well-deserved mud bath.

Having been to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane before, the beauty of the décor was a pleasure to see again.  The seats in the Stalls were comfortable with moderate leg room.  As usual, theatre staff were quite helpful and friendly.

I’ll try not to say too much to spoil all the fun surprises.  It was one of the most fun times I’ve had at a show.  It’s a different kind of fun than say Mamma Mia or Jersey Boys, for example.  It’s something that can be enjoyed by the whole family.  It’s one of the few West End shows which are suitable for children.  There were only two mild swear words used (by Donkey, bad boy).  Any minor adult-related humour is done in such a way that it is hopefully missed by children.

Everything you might think couldn’t possibly be transformed from film to stage… think again.  It has it all from the dragon to the talking gingerbread man and everything in between including every childhood fairytale character you can think of.

Nigel Lindsay played a BIGGER than life Shrek and quite well!  Richard Blackwood played the incorrigible yet endearing Donkey – sidekick extraordinaire.  Princess Fiona was played by the lovely and talented Amanda Holden.  While very capable in her performance, I’m afraid she wasn’t believable as a 27 year old.  The character who seemed to have stolen the show though was Lord Farquaad played by Nigel Harman.  Though small in stature, he was large in presence.  He played the whole show unbelievably on his knees.  The costume was amazingly concealing.  All of the costumes were very well done and the scenery top-notch… interesting and ingenious at times (walking across the bridge as it was rising into place, manoeuvring the huge dragon on stage, the exploding bird, the shelter in the woods – to name a few).  The entire cast were very energetic.  Well done!

The finale was huge and had everyone on their feet.  I don’t know if it was the show or just the crowd on the evening but the show went over very well.  I myself enjoyed it very much.  It had quite a few surprises and was quite interactive with the audience.  And for those in the Stalls, be ready for an unexpected surprise.  Everyone will be in for a surprise during the wedding scene.  Alas, go and make up your own mind if it makes yours a ‘Big Bright Beautiful Word’!  I know that ‘I’m a believer!’

by Ann Kamran (stagetalk.co.uk)

[Rating:4.0/5]

Book tickets for Shrek The Musical

Amanda Holden will not be performing from 30 May to 5 June 2011

Olivier Award-nominated actress and presenter Amanda Holden will star as Princess Fiona in Shrek The Musical, who has revealed she is six months pregnant and expecting a son in March.

This new stage musical is based on the story and characters from the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film Shrek, the first chapter in the much loved series of irreverent fairy tales.

Broadway stage show Shrek The Musical is scheduled to open in the West End on 6 May 2011 at Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Cast update for Shrek The Musical at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

Shrek The Musical due to open at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane end of May 2011 has announced two cast members.  Amanda Holden will play Princess Fiona and Richard Blackwood will play Donkey.

This new stage musical is based on the story and characters from the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film Shrek, the first chapter in the much loved series of irreverent fairy tales.

Join Shrek, our unlikely hero, and his loyal steed Donkey, as they set off on an adventure to rescue the beautiful (if slightly temperamental) Princess Fiona, from her tower, guarded by a fire breathing love-sick dragon.

Add a wannabe King with a height complex, a bunch of fairytale superstars, and a biscuit with an attitude, and you’ve got next year’s must see new musical comedy – Shrek The Musical.

Featuring all new songs as well as cult Shrek anthem – I’m a Believer, Shrek the Musical brings the well loved characters to life in a hilarious and spectacular new production which turns the world of fairytales upside down in an all singing, all dancing, irresistible mix of magic, laughter and romance.

The Anglo-American creative team is led by directors Jason Moore and Rob Ashford and includes David Lindsay-Abaire (Book and Lyrics), Jeanine Tesori (Music), Tim Hatley (Scenic, Costume and Puppet Design), Hugh Vanstone (Lighting Design), Peter Hylenski (Sound Design), and Josh Prince (Choreography).

Shrek The Musical confirmed at Theatre Royal Drury Lane in May 2011

Shrek The Musical will open at Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 7 June 2011, following previews in May 2011.  Public booking is scheduled to open 1 October 2010.  Casting, performance dates, and box office details to be released soon.

Shrek The Musical played on Broadway December 2008 to January 2010.  The original creative team have re-assembled to stage the production with additional scenes and new songs.  This production, currently in rehearsal, is scheduled to tour 60 cities in the United States beginning in July 2010.  The West End production will start rehearsals in London in early 2011.

It is based on the story and characters from William Steig’s book Shrek! and feature film Shrek.  The Book and Lyrics were written by David Lindsay-Abaire and the musical will feature music by Jeanine Tesori and choreography by Josh Prince.  Shrek The Musical will be directed by West End Avenue Q Director Jason Moore and Rob Ashford who recently directed A Streetcar Named Desire.  Designs & costumes are by Tim Hatley, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, with sound by Peter Hylenski.  It is produced by DreamWorks Theatricals and Neal Street Productions.

It tells the story of the swamp-dwelling ogre who, in a kingdom far-far away, embarks on a life-changing adventure in order to reclaim the deed to his land.  He is begrudgingly joined by a wise-cracking donkey who won’t shut up.  Shrek – not the typical handsome prince – is an unlikely hero who fights a fearsome dragon, rescues the feisty Princess Fiona and learns that real friendship and true love aren’t only found in fairy tales.