Show: Shrek the Musical
Society: New Wimbledon Theatre (professional)
Venue: New Wimbledon Theatre
Credits: Book & Lyrics: D. Lindsay-Abaire. Music: J. Tesori. Prod' by DreamWorks Theatricals, Neal Street Prods, Playful Prods, L. Menzies, R. Kastner, Tulchin/Bartner Prods, Saracen Films, M. Cartwright, G. Kalin, Glass Half Full Prods/Just for Laughs Thts
Performance Date: 21/01/2016
Shrek the Musical
Paul Johnson | 22 Jan 2016 22:42pm
Gerard Carey (Lord Farquaad) and SHREK THE MUSICAL 2015 company. Photo: Helen Maybanks
It’s always a gamble to reinvent a popular animated film, resplendent with some of Hollywood’s biggest names as a stageshow. To then tour it in provincial theatres – madness. But Tour Director Nigel Harman’s cheeky production had the audience cheering uproariously.
Having seen the West End show (alas not with the lovely Nigel in role as the little Lord with the big personality), it seemed that without having seen the film, one might get a bit confused. To avoid this the dvd of Shrek has had mutiple viewings over the last fortnight. Mini Sardines’ most pressing concern? Will Lord Farquaad be tiny…
Small in stature but huge a talent. Gerard Carey brought so much to the role. He had the audience laughing and cringing in equal measure. His exaggerated bustle across the stage never lessened in entertainment value. Being so close to the stage, you got the full impact of his facial expressions – something Circle seats in the West End didn’t afford you.
Farquaad made the show for me. From his first appearance, the pace quickened slightly and we were hurled along on this crazy love story. He was well supported however by the ensemble and the three other main characters (Shrek: Dean Chisnall, lovely-legged Bronté Barbé’s Princess Fiona and amiable Donkey by energetic Idriss Kargbo).
Not remembering much about the West End production, I had forgotten just how well written and funny the show is. Like panto, there were jokes for all ages, some bordering on smut. But very funny smut! I love the little musical theatre show mentions, cleverly woven into the script and although mostly original, David Lindsay-Abaire’s songs had everyone tapping along and singing refrains. For someone who usually hates toilet humour, I Got You Beat had me crying with laughter!
Probably one of the best ending numbers in a musical, I’m so glad the stage show follows the film with I’m a Believer – a perfect end to a perfect show. The whole Sardines shoal enjoyed this production far more than the West End one for some reason – the smaller stage definitely works in its favour.
Live music, fantastic costumes and just a great production makes this a show worth catching on its fortunately long run here at New Wimbledon Theatre. Having had to fast forward the dvd and deal with tears when the dragon scenes were on, it was a big relief when Mini Sardines not only called for more of the cleverly manipulated dragon, declared this beautiful puppet his favourite part of the show.
Have a giggle, have a sing, make friends with the friendliest green ogre around until the end of January.
Dean Chisnall (Shrek) & Idriss Kargbo (Donkey). Photo: Helen Maybanks
- : admin
- : 21/01/2016