SHREK The Musical1: Book and Lyrics: David Lindsay-Abaire; Music: Jeanine Tesori
Tour till: 02 February 2016
Info: shrekthemusical.co.uk/tour-dates/Birmingham Hippodrome till Sunday 26 April
Runs: 2h 35m, one interval
Review: Alexander Ray Edser, Birmingham Hippodrome 01 14 15
Delicious and delightful, sparkles like a diamond
SHREK has to steer that difficult path between being a show for children and a show for adults. We’ve seen a number of stories recently that have achieved this – mostly because (for whatever reasons) we are increasingly able to give ourselves up to the emotional thrust; we are letting it pull our heartstrings just as children do.
Just so with SHREK. A green ogre, a beautiful princess who turns out to be part-ogre, and a donkey. And we care about them, truly care; we will them to have a happy ending – which of course they do. Children willingly suspend their disbelief to become gripped by the story, they engage in whole-hearted laughter at the rudenesses (farting and burping); we as adults engage in the story bit by bit until hooked, enjoy the wit in the telling and in the music . . . and laugh wholeheartedly at the rudenesses – we are children at heart.
There are skilled, broadly painted performances at the centre, truly engaging. Dean Chisnall (Shrek) is the key; his friendly manner and round, smiling face, ensure he is friend to us all. Fay Brookes gives a fine sharp comic edge to Princess Fiona – nowhere better than in her Act II opener, MORNING PERSON, and Idriss Kargbo is the most endearing of donkeys, beautifully extolling the importance of friendship. Gerard Carey ensures that every entry of Lord Farquaad is eagerly awaited.
Music and songs are lively and drive the show along; I’M A BELIEVER at the end is a surprise and makes a perfect conclusion.
The love story’s important, of course; but the real message of this show is tolerance and friendship – important for us all. The whole has a splendid look – costumes, sets, and prosthetic make-ups (Pinocchio’s nose is a wonder), a splendid singing and flying dragon all helping create this delightful escape from our cold, damp spring.
Shrek: Dean Chisnall
Princess Fiona: Fay Brookes
Lord Farquaad: Gerard Carey
Donkey: Idriss Kargbo
Red Riding Hood, Blind Mouse: Bronte Barbe
Sugar Plum Fairy, Gingy: Nikki Bentley
Queen Lillian, Wicked Witch: Jennifer Caldwell
Dragon, Fairy Godmother: Candace Furbert
Pig, Waiter, Captain of the Guard, Knight: Steffan Harri
Pinocchio, Guard, Dragon Puppeteer: Will Haswell
Ugly Duckling, Blind Mouse: Mia Lincoln
Peter Pan, Guard, Dragon Puppeteer: Rory Maguire
King Harold, Wolf, Thelonius, Knight: Iain Mattley
Mama Ogre, Mama Bear: Jenny O’Leary
Baby Bear, Teen Fiona, Blind Mouse: Georgina Parkinson
Pig, Guard, Bishop, Dragon Puppeteer: Ryan Reid
Papa Ogre, Papa Bear, Knight, Guard: Leo Roberts
Pied Piper< Swamp Guard, Knight, Guard: James Winter
Pig, Guard, Dragon Puppeteer: Kevin Yates
Young Iona, Young Shrek, Dwarf: Annabel Bagshaw, Eva Bailey, Emily-Louise Chapman, Isabella Cook, Georgia Dalley, , Breanagh Mayo
Swings: James LLacey, Jacqui Sanchez, Oliver Tester, Kerry Winter
Book and Lyrics: David Lindsay-Abaire
Music: Jeanine Tesori
Tour Director: Nigel Harman
Set and Costume Design: Tim Hartley
Lighting Design: Hugh Vanstone, Matt Daw