Such an amazing show! Shrek the Musical, the UK Tour really transitions so well from the well-known animation to the stage of Leeds Grand theatre. The costumes, set, and puppetry really brings the show alive and makes it so believable. This show is performed almost like a pantomime with child and adult humour so everyone can enjoy. If you’re a musical fan like me you will also be able to enjoy other show references that are slipped into the show perfectly.
There was slight differences from the original Broadway version but the storyline was the same and as a first time viewer it was an exceptional show. My favourite part has to be the dragon! The voice, the dragon, how it was staged was all so good and work to make that dragon move so in sync and realistic following the lyrics and movement was quite special. Almost made me believe. The sassy diva but caring Donkey really explores the true meaning of friendship and love with his new found friend the ogre Shrek (Steffan Harri) who with his ogre like charm and witty ways reaches his soft layer of the onion when he learns about true love and needs to save his! Can he do it? You must find out for yourself. On the other hand, Lord Farquaad is the true comedian of the show, in many ways, using his character to the best of his ability making the show one to remember. Princess Fiona played by Laura Main, stole the hearts of everyone in the audience with her daydreaming sweetness and fairytale like talk mixed with her stubbornness and crazy coffee side. The use of her over exaggerated voice changing from polite princess to demanding diva really made the audience chuckle and highlighted the drastic change of her personality. As for singing wow!
The accents throughout the show did bother me slightly as most characters were slipping in and out of accents throughout, mostly at the beginning but once the actors relaxed and became more comfortable in their role as the show went on like Donkey and Shrek their character became stronger and stayed in accents having more fun and creativity with their characters while walking through the storyline. Sometimes I found that bits of dialogue was missing or miss heard, more so when singing. I found that when Shrek sung ‘The Travel song’ with Donkey I struggled to hear when he was singing like his mic wasn’t turned up loud enough or the music was too loud. But, as there was more children in the audience they didn’t seem to notice. They were more fascinated by the cow flying over the moon and other friends passing by.
The technical side of the show was so brilliantly done and made it so special and magical it gave tingles up my arms. The use of the storybook with the heads popping through I thought was really creative another way of bringing the storybook to life literally. The use of lighting, projections, set and scenery really rounded off the whole show to be a beautiful well put performance. All the fairytale characters really worked together well and bouncing off each character on the stage in how their original storyline would react. Overall, the show was such a success and such a beautiful heart-warming show for the whole family to see. I would happily go back for round two!
Reviewer: Katrina Brown
Reviewed: 18th December 2018
North West End Rating: ★★★★