Newest Review: ... Holden Donkey - Richard Blackwood Lord Farquaad - Nigel Harmen But this has changed now to:- Shrek - Dean Chisnall Fiona - Kimberley W... more
Shrek The Musical
Member Name: sammy00
Shrek The Musical
Advantages: Close to the films, great casting
Disadvantages: Theatre sent us to what appeared to be a tradesman entrance! Shabby and Dull
After seeing the adverts for the Shrek Musical I couldn't wait to get tickets! Me and my boyfriend had loved all the Shrek movies and figured the musical couldn't go far wrong. We purchased tickets from lastminute.com for £25 each with seats in the balcony. We would have preferred better seats but £25 was more in our budget.
We had seen some very good reviews for the show and a performance of it on the X-Factor and it did look really good. We were a bit wary of the casting of Amanda Holden as we only really saw her as a talent show judge, but the rest of the case looked great.
The 'Shrek' Musical is performed at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and has been running since 6th May 2011. There are daily performances, with evening shows Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with extra matinee show on a Thursday and weekend. The ticket prices vary from £20 to £65. The balcony seating ranges between £20 and £25 so is very reasonable and even here you get a decent view of the stage. For better seats you will pay around £50 for the Upper Circle and £65 for Grand Circle so there really is a wide range of tickets to suit every budget. The show runs for 2 ½ hours which includes a short interval.
When the musical opened in 2011 the cast were:-
Shrek - Nigel Lindsay
Fiona - Amanda Holden
Donkey - Richard Blackwood
Lord Farquaad - Nigel Harmen
But this has changed now to:-
Shrek - Dean Chisnall
Fiona - Kimberley Walsh
Donkey - Richard Blackwood
Lord Farquaad - Neil Mcdermott
When we saw the performance the original cast were performing so this review will based on this but the new cats are supposed to be just as good from reviews I have seen.
When we arrived in London we had to collect our tickets from the theatre itself. It looked very grand with a huge Shrek sign lit up in green at the front, plush carpets and galleried stairways. We collected the tickets and returned later that night for the show. We were instructed to enter via the side entrance as we were in the balcony and was directed to a door further down the road. This was just a door to a back entrance and concrete corridors running up 100's of stairs. I have to say I was disappointed. The stairway was grey, damp and worn and when we got to the top we were held in a drab, dismal corridor with peeling paper. After seeing the grand entrance I was highly disspointed with the entrance we were sent to. A less able person would not be able to get up these stairs.
Once we were let though the door into the theatre there was a huge change. We were back in the plush theatre with high ceilings thick carpets. Out seats were just about big enough. A little more leg room wouldn't have gone amiss but the seats were comfortable and good quality. We were the second row from the balcony so we had a really clear view of the stage. I think if you were further towards the back the view may be restricted but our seats were very good.
The show starts and Shrek comes on and gives a brief summary of the story. Shrek is a grumpy hero who after meeting and befriending talking Donkey is off on a mission to rescue Princess Fiona for Lord Farquaads who is a search of a princess for his throne. After seeing the films hundreds of times I knew we would be very sceptical of the performances and would naturally compare the musical cast to the film. However, we were not to be disappointed.
Nigel Lindsay portrayed Shrek just like the film. He performed with Shrek's grumpy nature and unlikely heroism. He had a great singing voice that resonates throughout the whole room and is very funny, often giving the smallest of expressions to make you laugh. Richard Blackwood as Donkey is extremely close to Eddie Murphy's portrayal in the film, even using the same accent. He performs a few musical numbers which are very good, but he seems to not be such a key character as is in the film. I would have liked to see more of Donkey in the show as in the film he is one of my favourites. Princess Fiona is played by Amanda Holden. And I was sceptical of this casting when I heard but she plays Fiona well. She can sing and dance well and plays off Shrek a lot. When she is turned from princess to ogre the change is done in an instant which I couldn't figure out how that was done. The green ogre look is achieved well and doesn't look false. But now on to my absolute favourite character in the musical - Lord Farquaad. Farquaad was played by Nigel Harmen. As Lord Farquaad in the film is, shall we say, vertically challenged, so to achieve this Nigel Harmen played the whole show on his knees. Just seeing him attempt to run across the stage with shoes attached to his knees is hilarious and his comedic timing is the best in the show. He brings a different style to the character to the film but if anything this is better and funnier. Also look out for the impressive Dragon which looks so realistic on stage and appears overhead coming from nowhere!
The songs in the musical include ones from the film and new additions including "I'm a believer", "Morning Person", Who'd I Be". The cast perform the songs well and really belt out the numbers. The storyline is very close to the film with a few alterations to perform the whole film in the time slot.
If you love the films then I guarantee you will love the stage show. 2 ½ hours of laughter, song and fun!
Summary: 2 1/2 hours of wonderfulness!