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Shrek the musical
Shrek The Musical
Member Name: louisechackett
Shrek The Musical
Advantages: funny, good acting and songs, great for school aged children
Disadvantages: none at all
During my latest visit to London I knew that I wanted to take my son to the West End to see a show as I felt he was old enough to appreciate it and to take note of what was going on at six years old. As we needed to see a show on a Monday night we were quite limited on what we could see as many shows don't show on a Sunday or Monday night but luckily for us the show Shrek was showing and my son, my sister and I were all keen on seeing it.
Ordinarily I would book tickets for a show when I got to London using the tkts booth in Leicester Square but as this was a new show I was concerned that they may not be selling the tickets or that they would not have any when we got down there so I decided to book the tickets through ticketmaster. The ticket prices really do vary with some of the best seats costing upwards of ninety pounds but we settled for mid range tickets towards the back of the stalls which apparently were limited view which cost £55.00 per ticket but had booking fees and such like on top making them around £60.00 per ticket. Considering that I had got a good deal on a Travelodge hotel and train travel it actually meant that mine and my sons tickets combined were costing more than two nights in London and return travel from Manchester so we were hoping that the show would live up to our expectations!
Now every single time I go to see a show in London I end up getting lost in the streets and having to ask for directions. This time I was organised and went on to the internet to find directions before we travelled. The print out I had showed a map and a few directions and have to say they were just perfect and we found the theatre without any trouble at all.
The show is at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane (I just love the fact that it is at Drury Lane as the film makes reference to the muffin man who lives on Drury Lane!) and so the nearest tube station is Covent Garden. You quite literally need to walk out of the station down a row of shops, down by the piazza and then after a minute you will see the theatre in the not to far distance. I would say it is a five minute walk, if that, from the tube station. You will spot the theatre immediately as it has a large green "S" with ears on the front!
==The theatre and merchandise==
The theatre looks very grand as they all seem to do in London's West End. There are lots of attendants around to help you with getting in to the theatre and to let you know where your seats are and show you if required.
Inside the foyer there is a sparkly green "S" which is the perfect place for photographs to mark your trip to see the show as you are not allowed to take any photographs whilst in the main show area regardless of whether the show has started or not. There are plenty of staff wandering around inside there selling merchandise who will jump on you if you try and take a photo!
As with all shows of this kind there is merchandise being sold as well as sweets, drinks and ice cream and such like. They have t shirts, key rings, programs, soft toys, shrek ears and even whoopee cushions for sale here. My son decided he would like me to buy a small donkey soft toy which was £9.00 and I opted to buy a programme for £6.00 so he would have a memory of the day to take away with him. My sister chose a key ring which was £7.00. The merchandise is nice but over priced as always. A bag of sweets will set you back around £3.00, a drink £2.80 and a small tub of ice cream £3.50....yes we bought all of them because that's what you do at the theatre!
==The show and my opinion==
For those of you who are not aware of whom Shrek is...where have you been?! Shrek is a green ogre who is feared by many but who is probably misunderstood really. Set a challenge to rescue Princess Fiona from the dragon guarded castle, Shrek sets off on an adventure which will change his life.
From the onset I knew that this show was not going to be a carbon copy of the Dreamworks film and this was something that I was pleased about because whilst I love the Shrek films I didn't want to pay £60.00 per ticket to see something copied on to the stage from the big screen when I could watch it at home. The show of course follows the themes of the film and will also have some of the more iconic moments added in to it such as key phrases and moments but it is different as well and tells us a bit more about the background of Shrek and Fiona's life just as an example.
The songs in the show are brilliant I have to say and are sung really well. They are frequent and often really funny too and they really do keep your attention so well. The set is also brilliant and changes effortlessly and looks really professional. One scene is Lord Farquaads castle and it actually looks like it is a three dimensional castle and I think this is wonderful seen as it is on a stage. The dragon used in the show is phenomenal and I am not exaggerating when I say that at all...it looks amazing and is well controlled and at one point flies right over the audience which is just spectacular. The change over from when Fiona is a normal looking Princess to when she is a green ogre is also done remarkable quickly and something that I was really impressed by.
Shrek is played by Nigel Lindsay and whilst he is apparently someone who has been on a few things on the television he is not someone that I was aware of at all. He plays Shrek excellently and lumbers around the stage just like you would expect an ogre to do. He acts the part really well and shows both Shrek's scary and more misunderstood and vulnerable side brilliantly. He sings the songs really well too and was believable as the character.
Fiona is ordinarily played by Amanda Holden and I was looking forward to seeing her play the role even though I had seen some clips and was aware she wasn't the strongest singer. When we got to the theatre though we were made aware that Amanda wouldn't be playing Fiona during our show and whilst initially disappointed I was soon in awe of Alice Fearn who was playing the part that night. Alice was funny as the character as well as an excellent singer and I think she was brilliant at the role.
Richard Blackwood plays Shrek's loyal companion Donkey and to be honest I was expecting more humour from him as I knew him as a comedian first and foremost. He played the part quite well but I felt Donkey could have been more stand out at times.
For me the absolute stand out performance in the show was that of Nigel Harman as Lord Farquaad. In the film Lord Farquaad is a very small man with illusions of grandeur and this is portrayed in the stage show with Nigel Harman on his knees with false legs attached to his costume. It is hilarious seeing the legs move as Nigel rushes along on his knees and they are able to use this to create some hilarious moments.
The show is suitable for children age five plus and my son is six. He loved the show and was laughing out loud at many points. The show will not go over a child's head, especially if they have seen the film, and they will enjoy all the singing, dancing and energy that the show has to offer. From an adults point of view the show is hilarious in points but much like the film it has little moments where only the adults in the audience will understand and be amused by what is going on but that it is not enough to make the children question what is going on as well. An example of this is Lord Farquaad dancing and opening up his artificial legs whilst making reference to how wonderful he is. As adults we were amused but the children just think he is dancing.
There are many cast members involved in this production some of which will be familiar to those who have seen the films such as Pinocchio, the three bears or Gingey the gingerbread man but there are also other fairy tale characters such as Humpty Dumpty, the uckly ducking and red riding hood which I have never noticed in the film. The additional cast members who are not "main" characters are still really prominent in the show and provide some excellent entertainment by the way of singing and dancing.
My son's favourite parts of the show where when Fiona and Shrek discovered they had a little bit more in common than first thought as they burp and fart through a song and when the dragon comes flying over the audience. We were covered slightly by the over hang from the seats above so perhaps missed out on a little of the effect but he still felt it was wonderful all the same.
I can honestly say I would love to see this show again and so I cannot give it anything but my full recommendation. It was funny, well thought out, energetic and entertaining and I would definitely say go and see it if you can because it is wonderful! I can guarantee at the end of the show you will be on your feet singing, dancing and clapping!
Thank you for reading my review!
Summary: A brilliant show...loved it!
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