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Monday, 20 June 2011

Shrek the Musical at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

Green glitz and glamour is what it's all about at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, where ‘Shrek the Musical’ is taking its first footsteps to success. The unlikely love story of the ugly ogre and sweet princess delighted audiences young and old when Dreamworks released the film animation in 2011, and has now been adapted as a stage show by David Lindsay-Abaire (book and lyrics) and Jeanine Tesori (music). The theatre version is predictably rather camped up but nonetheless keeps the charm and appeal of the original story with hilarious songs, fabulous outfits, and a good sense of humour.

There is the usual dose of celebrity casting: Amanda Holden as Princess Fiona and ex-Eastenders man Nigel Harman playing Lord Farquaad. Nigel Lindsay takes on the large role of Shrek, stomping about the stage in a magically believable costume. His voice is a little weak, but he must be commended on managing to be funny and sympathetic despite wearing a ton of padding and make up. Holden is full of energy as the lovely Fiona, happily farting and burping along with Shrek in one of the best numbers, “I Think I Got You Beat”, but couldn’t quite muster the power required for some of the upper register singing.

Harman certainly surprised me as the pint sized Farquaard, looking at the cast list I wasn’t expecting much from him, and yet he is, in my opinion, the star of the night - an all singing and dancing, comically brilliant entertainer, performing on his knees throughout.

Vocally it is some of the lesser characters that reign. Landi Oshinowo is sensational as the Dragon, her powerful voice has the tone and authority to make any audience stop and listen. She fills the theatre with her solo song, “Forever”, projecting the big tune with confidence and personality. Of the smaller parts, it is Alice Fearn (Sugar Plum Fairy, Gingy) and Emma Lindars (Mama Ogre, Mama Bear) whose voices are most memorable, real talent can be seen here - they both hit all the notes comfortably and gloriously.

The dancing doesn’t disappoint either; choreographer Josh Prince has developed some funky modern routines that fit well into the narrative. A particularly persuasive tap dancing number with Princess Fiona and the rats is delightfully realised on stage, and some of the Lord Farquaad dances are tremendously well done, as well as being side-splittingly funny. The creative team have succeeded with the visuals, an evolving fairytale set and colourful costumes that look great up on stage. Then there’s the band, led by lively Alan Williams, they soar through Tesori's dazzling score faultlessly.

I’m still smiling thinking about Shrek the Musical. The final verdict? Exceeds all expectations, a fun night for all.

Shrek the Musical continues until 19 February 2011, book here.


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  2. Hahah oh I definitly want to see this, Shrek tickles me!

    Eda ♥

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