|*Thansk to WMC and Shrek the Musical for review tickets.|
Last night we had the chance to go out as a family and catch the amazing Shrek the Musical at Wales Millennium Centre. The musical is based on the much loved quirky ogre movie and we were all so excited to see it; I couldn’t wait to see how the story transitioned from film to stage.
The story follows Shrek as he tries to reclaim his swamp after a bunch of fairytale characters descend upon him thanks to the fiendish Lord Farquaad. When Shrek confronts him, they end up striking a deal : Shrek can have his land back if he rescues Princess Fiona and hands her over to Lord Farquaad so he can bag himself a wife and become King.
The stage was set and as the performance began I had a feeling it was going to be an outstanding show, and guess what, I wasn’t wrong! The stage and set were both bold and luxurious, with lots of seamless scene changes and cleverly thought out use of props and costume. I really loved the opening scene with the fairytale book, as well as the various fairytale costumes, such as the Wolf and Three Little Pigs…
Shrek was performed with a lot of energy and power, from his booming roar to his wonderful performance as he sang several songs throughout the show; he was a very strong lead indeed. His sidekick Donkey was amazing; he was hilarious and well rehearsed, and at times I thought how amazing he would be as the famous Frankenfurter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show; he had such a lot of sass and Molly absolutely adored him as Donkey!
Fiona was a funny, crazy addition to the story – Laura Main was fantastic as the trapped princess and I loved how nuts she was at times; I could certainly relate! Her vocals were strong and her timing was spot on during various parts of the show. She really owned the stage, and the audience was in hysterics during the ‘burp/fart off’ with Shrek!
For me, the highlight of the night was Lord Farquaad’s performance by Samuel Holmes – I couldn’t help but think of Terence Stamp as he performed; his voice and tone were so similar and his comedy timing was perfect! The costume and design for Lord Farquaad was amazing, and Holmes was hilarious as the small man with evil intentions. He was beyond hilarious and there were some scenes that were fantastically choreographed, with the whole audience laughing along! I had tears in my eyes during most of his scenes!
The performance isn’t exactly the same as the film (as Molly kept pointing out!) but it has been transferred to stage with clever and thoughtful skill; the dragon scenes were pure magic and there was so much during the show that sparked imagination, yet at the same time held a lot of sentiment and heart. I also thought there were lots of scenes reminiscent of old movies with their full on dance sequences that reminded me of Gene Kelly and the good old days of dance!
This performance is definitely on the ‘must see’ list for families; it’s magical and clever, interesting and inventive, as well as very, very funny! We had the loveliest time together, and it felt like a very special night out indeed.
Have you been to see Shrek yet? What did you think?