Once upon a time in a land far far away lived an Ogre that we all know and love, the charming tale has been taken from screen to stage to create the spectacular Shrek The Musical.
The musical truly brings the story to life as it delves deeper into the storyline to produce a much more developed version of the film. It takes you back in time to Shrek and Fiona’s childhood, the characters appear inside a giant storybook as the adorable young Shrek and Fiona are sent away by their parents at the age of seven. Shrek is told to “go away” and live in the swamp which he later calls home and Fiona is banished to a tower guarded by a fearsome dragon until a prince comes to rescue her.
Set and costume designer Tim Hatley has done a phenomenal job bringing the vibrancy to the show through the enormous set and intricately designed costumes. Whether it’s the towering castle, the huge menacing dragon or Shrek’s swamp, the scenes swiftly change in seconds capturing the magic of the show.
Shrek played by Dean Chisnall portrays the character perfectly, he is loveable yet his sarcasm and wit had the audience in fits of laughter. Not to mention his powerful vocals that are highlighted in the more touching moments of the show, particularly the final song of act one Who I’d Be.
Bronté Barbé who plays Fiona is excellent as feisty and brash Fiona, her vocal tone is very different to previous Fiona’s I’ve seen, it is a much deeper tone which I enjoyed as it brought a different take to the very sweet and squeaky generic princess tone. Her characterisation is impeccable and this is evident in the number Morning Person.
The flamboyant role of Donkey is played by Idriss Kargbo. He has moulded the character in his own original way and he masters the dynamic energy of the role exquisitely. Gerard Carey plays the challenging role of the pint sized Lord Farquard. Performing on his knees throughout the entireity of the show, his characterisation and comedy timing is one of the best I’ve ever seen, his use of innuendos had the adults in the audience bursting with laughter.
The ensemble are strong and their performance is commanding, choreographed by Josh Prince who creates a visual masterpiece on stage, every musical number is full of colour and the energy is on fire. A stand out performer being Candace Furbert, the voice of the dragon, her vocals are utterly breathtaking. Similarly Nikki Bentley who plays Gingy has undeniably faultless vocals.
Shrek is an outstanding show, the humour from the film is amplified in a tremendous adaptation complete with an exceptional score, it’s a musical that both adults and children will adore.
Shrek is on at The Lowry until the 20th of February and tickets can be found here.