REVIEW: Shrek The Musical – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

The big, green, Scottish ogre is back on the road again, delighting audiences young and old in this joyful, colourful, in-your-face, fun night out for all the family.

Based on the award-winning 2001, Dreamworks movie, Shrek and Donkey join forces to rescue Princess Fiona from imprisonment in her tower. Standing in their way are not only a fire-breathing dragon and a great big secret, but a whole host of fairytale misfits and the evil Lord Farquaad.

Beneath the eye-popping colour and glitzy visuals, this is a story with real heart and it gently promotes a message of equality and acceptance in the best possible way: with intelligence and wit. For all the comic songs there’s a fair share of poignant and though-provoking ballads too.

This was never going to be anything other than a sure-fire hit, so beloved are the Shrek films, that coupled with the fact this truly is entertainment for the whole family. Much of the dialogue can be enjoyed at both adult and child level and a sensible start time (7pm) to accommodate the ‘school night’ crowd, make it a must-see for all the family. There’s also a challenge for musical theatre fans to see how many references they can spot to fellow West End and Broadway shows.

The main cast are solid and fine-voiced: Shrek Steffan Harri (largely) nails the Scottish accent in front of a Scottish crowd. Princess Fiona for this leg of the tour is the seemingly ubiquitous Amelia Lily who does a good job vocally and whose acting skills improve with every role she tackles, and Marcus Ayton gives an entertainingly ‘ramped up camp’ version of Donkey. But, of course, it is Samuel Holmes who steals the show with a refreshing take on the hysterical Lord Farquaad. No one can compete when he bursts on stage, not only does Holmes have impeccable comic timing, he has a fabulous voice too. Mention must be made of the multiple role playing ensemble who act wonderfully and sound sublime and the set and the transitions from scene to scene are as slick as you will see on any stage.

The night’s are getting darker, the temperature is dropping, so what better way to warm your heart and soul than to see this big-hearted beauty of a musical.

Runs until 6 October 2018 | Image: Contributed

This review was originally written for and published by The Reviews Hub.



REVIEW: Shrek – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Fourteen years ago Shrek exploded onto our screens and redefined the ‘family film’: a movie so clever and sophisticated that it had both adults and children rolling in the aisles. But taking this beloved movie classic and making it into a musical? Unimaginable you’d think, but boy would you be wrong. Not only have they made it into a musical, they’ve done it in grand style.

The big-hearted Scottish ogre, Princess Fiona, Donkey and, of course Lord Farquaad are all here, as is the fire-breathing dragon and a whole host of fairy tale favourites. Retaining all of the humour of the film (and it’s storyline: anti-social ogre is duped into going on a quest to rescue a princess and finds true love in the process) and adding even more by giving a back story to each of the main characters, this is an impossible-to-resist night of laugh out loud fun.

There’s no discernible difference between this touring production and that in the West End and it reads as rich and lavish in the auditorium, there’s also a fine orchestra briskly conducted by Dave Rose.

The cast too, are first rate. The ensemble give strong support and special mention needs to be made of Candace Furbert whose soaring vocals give life to the Dragon. Dean Chisnall is an outstanding Shrek, the right mixture of gruff gross and good-hearted, he also has an unexpectedly melodious voice for an ogre. Nikki Bentley, stepping in to the role of Princess Fiona due to Faye Brookes tonsillitis, is a revelation, her comic timing is spot on and she’s a fine singer, but without doubt the night belongs to Gerard Carey’s scene-stealing and show-stopping turn as Lord Farquaad. I defy anyone not to be in hysterics at his antics.

This is a huge, big-hearted romp replete with frolics, farts and fun for all the family. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

*On a side note, musical theatre geeks can set themselves the challenge of identifying all the references to other shows dotted throughout. (I counted seven).

This review was originally written for and published by http://www.thepublicreviews.com at http://www.thepublicreviews.com/shrek-kings-theatre-glasgow/