Shrek the Musical
Belgrade Theatre Coventry
Coventry Musical Theatre Society
23rd – 26th May 2019
Shrek the musical is based on the family favourite animated films by Dreamworks. Coventry Musical Theatre Society bring this Coventry Premiere to the stage with their usual polish and style.
It is a big challenge to bring a large amount of story book characters to life, but it was executed brilliantly The favourite characters from the film are all there, 3 little pigs, Pinocchio, gingerbread man, 3 blind mice, the wolf and of course Donkey, Fiona and Shrek. The actors balanced being faithful to the film with bringing their own thing to the part, everything you would expect from the characters was there, but they weren’t copies or impressions, there was something of the actor there too.
Some of the comedy highlights were provided by Lord Farquaad, Craig Garner. What he lacked in height he made up for in presence and a polished delivery, the ballad of Farquaad was a joy. The dragon was amazing, brought to life by several puppeteers and stunning vocals from Hannah Roberts. Young Fiona was a delight to watch, with energy, poise and a great voice she is someone who is bound to go far. Adult Fiona (Emma Wilde) portrayed the two sides of Princess Fiona wonderfully. Connor Clifford’s Donkey bounded around the stage as he guided Shrek on the right path, he was the perfect companion to Shrek played by Dan Peet. Dan was Shrek, he was scary and vulnerable, he brought out the comedy and the sentiment, all while wearing ogre head gear and huge shoes.
There were great performances from all the cast, the story book characters a total delight bringing smiles and laughs. The choreography by Sue Biddle had something for everyone and included tap dancing mice and prisoners dancing in stocks.
This is a very colourful production; the costumes are bright and add an extra pop to the show. The detail in every costume from the main principals to the chorus is wonderful. The sets and lighting also add to that fairy-tale feel.
All but one of the songs in this show is original which helps to tell the story through the songs as well as the script. There is humour throughout, the children in the audience were giggling away in all the right places and having a great time. Adults needn’t worry there are the odd lines in there for them too. At 2 hours 30 (including interval) it may be a little long for younger children but there is enough to keep them entertained, there are no pauses during set changes, and everything runs smoothly and quickly.
This production under the direction of Steve Boden proves once again that the word “amateur” isn’t a reflection on the quality of a performance. This show is full of heart, humour and talent. With limited availability on tickets, don’t hesitate to book for a half term treat.
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