Review - Shrek the Musical (UK Tour)

Shrek the Musical is the perfect example of a show which shouldn't work and yet does! It's cheesy, it's surreal, and it contains more fart jokes than you could ever possibly want to hear, and yet there's something about this show that makes all of these foibles obsolete. Perhaps it's the brilliant makeup and costumes that bring all of Shrek's most loved characters to life, maybe it's the sheer conviction with which the whole cast performs, or maybe it's just that with a show like this you allow yourself to sit back and enjoy it rather than being overly critical (which isn't to say that there's nothing to discuss or commend because there really, really is). It's good old fashioned entertainment, and I absolutely loved it!
The cast all give outstanding, sometimes uncanny performances as their Duloc counterparts. In particular Leo Roberts, the understudy for Shrek who was on when I saw the show, whose mimicry of Mike Myers' iconic Shrek voice was outstanding. Not to mention his singing voice which was so powerful and moving, especially during the show's act 1 closer 'Who I'd Be' which, if I'm honest, did get me a bit teary! Meanwhile, Steffan Harri (understudying the role of the tiny yet terrible Lord Farquaad) provided laughs aplenty with his energetic and hilarious rendition of 'Things are Looking Up Here in Duloc'. His almost cartoonish facial features and brilliant comic timing made Farqaad so enjoyable to watch that I found myself longing for his next scenes of comedic villainy! Additionally Faye Brookes was lovely as Princess Fiona and Idriss Kargbo did the seemingly impossible and made the role of Donkey his own!

Another enjoyable elements of the show for me was the use of puppetry. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone yet to see the show, so I'll simply tell you that the dragon puppet is really impressive, and the actress who gave her her voice (Candace Furbert) has a song that will blow you away!

For someone who was just 5 when the first Shrek film was released, it felt almost surreal that 14 years later I was sitting in a theatre watching a beloved childhood film jump off the the screen and in to real life! Yes, it's an odd topic for a musical, but does that matter at all once you're sat down in your seat and the lights are down? no! In fact, watching Shrek the Musical is probably the most fun I've had in a theatre in a long time, and if you're looking for some escapism, a way to entertain your kids for an evening or just some good old fashion fun, then be sure to book a ticket to see Shrek the Musical as soon as possible!

Verdict - 3 1/2 Stars

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